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New mural gives garage site a new lease of life

STUDENTS from a Stafford High School have been getting creative to give run down artwork on the wall of local garages a new lease of life.

Students from Sir Graham Balfour School, on North Avenue, have teamed up with Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) to revamp an outdated mural on the back of garages at the Woodlands Road playing area.

The original idea for the project came from Laura Ashton, School and Community Liaison Officer at Sir Graham Balfour School, and Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) gained support for the project through feedback from a RESPECT Action Day.

During the Respect Day residents – especially students from the school – mentioned graffiti in the area and that that the mural had become a hotspot.

Laura, said: “We were looking at ways to get the outdated and tired mural refreshed and were delighted when Stafford and Rural Homes – who own the site – agreed to help with the project.”

Creative Arts North Staffs were employed to work on the project, with funding secured from the Sir Graham Balfour Community and Learning Partnership.

The first step was to consult the local community about what they would like on the mural with open design sessions held at Sir Graham Balfour School and at Tillington Manor Primary School. Chris and Grega the artists from Creative Arts North Staffs then pulled all their ideas together to create the finished plan for the wall.

“The reaction from our students and others in the community to the idea has been very positive and I think the new mural is a fantastic testament to all the hard work that has helped to make it possible.

“Our students, children from Tillington Manor, parents, the local PCSOs and community volunteers from Argos Direct have all made an outstanding contribution. The mural has been a real community effort,” added Laura.

Anna McLauchlan, SARH Neighbourhoods Project Officer, said: “The designs and ideas that the young people came up with were fantastic and the new mural certainly brightens up our garage site.

“By involving local young people in this project we hope they will now take ownership of the new mural – keeping it free from graffiti and a piece of artwork the whole community can be proud of.”

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