ENVIRONMENT: Richmond clean-up targets the young

| 22 January 2003

A scheme is to reward young people with high street store vouchers in return for cleaning up their local area.

Young people who spend Saturdays cleaning graffiti and maintaining gardens on estates in three parts of London's Richmond borough will be paid 30 a day in Argos, HMV and Sainsbury's vouchers, as part of a scheme set up by the Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP).

The initiative aims to instill citizenship in young people and increase a sense of ownership, as well as aiming to reduce the clean-up bill caused by antisocial behaviour in the area.

Volunteers who take part in the scheme for eight weeks will be given British Institute of Cleaning Science training, and consideration for a future job at the RHP's estate services team.

Cedric Boston, operations director at RHP, said: "Previous anti-graffiti days where residents have painted out graffiti have proved popular and we hope this scheme will as well. If it is successful in Sheen, Barnes and Mortlake, we'll look at extending it to our other estates."

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