Gatekeepers Project
The Gatekeepers project
Samantha Sadler

Young volunteers get creative with new bio-diversity graffiti wall in Newcastle

The Gate, Newcastle’s leisure and entertainment complex, has launched a creative project with the aim to bring new skills to young people from the city.

Launching last Monday, The Gatekeepers project has welcomed Newcastle volunteers from local charity Streetwise to design and create a new living wall and garden on Jacobins Chare.

Created in partnership with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Gatekeepers aims to give young people access to new skills and create opportunities to learn about biodiversity and the local ecology.

Additional support is being provided by the National Trust, EcoNorth and Streetwise, a charity who support physical, emotional and mental health of young people living in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mandy Coppin, CEO at Streetwise, said: “This project is all about getting young people involved in looking after the city centre and I am delighted with how the garden has developed.

“Getting involved with this project has allowed the young people to learn new skills and develop their confidence and environmental consciousness. It’s a positive space right in the heart of Newcastle and when they have got ownership of a project, they are more likely to look after it.”

The urban garden and living wall will be maintained by volunteers from the National Trust’s Gibside in Tyne & Wear and Streetwise’s young supporters, with the main goal being that Jacobins Chare will be transformed into a hidden green oasis.

Mandy continued: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the young people of Newcastle. They will be part of developing a city centre community ‘wellbeing’ garden, where they will learn new skills, meet other young people, develop their confidence and environmental awareness.”

Zara Batey, a 16 year old student from Newcastle who has been taking part in the project, said: “I found this an inspiring experience that helped me understand that the little things we do to help the environment we live in are the most important.”

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