Young people in the Waterside area of Derry are doing their bit to keep their local park vandalism-free.

Schoolchildren from Sacred Heart Primary School are leading a campaign to encourage local people to respect Rose Court play park in Gobnascale.

The pupils, who are taking part in the Junior Warden Project, have joined up with the Housing Executive, Hillcrest Trust, The Whistle Project and Derry City and Strabane District Council’s community safety wardens to deliver the campaign.

The junior wardens took part in classroom discussions about the negative effects of anti-social behaviour and designed flyers to be distributed in the local area and to pupils in the two local primary schools.

The flyers encourage users to respect the new play park, which has been a target for anti-social behaviour.

The kids took time out of class to deliver the leaflets door-to-door to houses near the park and took part in a local community clean-up.

This year’s Junior Warden Project, co-ordinated by the Housing Executive’s Social Education Officer, involved 145 schoolchildren from four local schools Ebrington Primary School, Newbuildings Primary School, Sacred Heart Primary School, and St Paul’s Primary School.

Housing Executive Social Education Officer, Patrick Duddy, said: “The project gave the Sacred Heart junior wardens the opportunity to take ownership of their local play park – they enjoyed designing the leaflets and distributing them as well.”

Geraldine O’Donnell from Hillcrest House, which provides early intervention and support services to children and parents, said: “The project was a great opportunity for local school and community groups to come together to work towards bettering the local area. The children’s enthusiasm while delivering the leaflets was infectious.”

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