Young people help take first steps in reclaiming Norris Green homes
Published by Group Communications for Symphony Housing Group in Housing
Cobalt Housing Norris Green Homes
Two derelict properties in Norris Green are being brought back into use by a local housing association after having fallen into disrepair over many years. Cobalt Housing (Cobalt), part of Symphony Housing Group, is restoring the homes after purchasing them from a private landlord.
The boarded up properties in Cottesbrook Close were attracting vandalism and had been broken into on a number of occasions. Site hoardings had also been damaged by local young people. An initiative organised by Cobalt and the Art Valley Project has involved local young people in the creation of new hoardings.
Working with Liverpool artist, Liz Harry, a group of 15 year olds from Norris Green created graffiti art designs around the theme of ‘respect and love your community’. A second group of 7 – 11 year olds, who live close to the blighted properties, decorated another side of the hoardings using the theme ‘our house’.
Liz Harry said: “We wanted to create a piece of art surrounding the properties that would be meaningful to local people. When talking to residents and young people I found that there was lots of nostalgia and fondness about living in the area. Using song lyrics was a great way to express the young people’s feelings.”
Cobalt community regeneration manager, Rachel Wright commented: “The art installations allowed local people to be involved in the first stages of the improvement works, take pride in the restoration and bring ownership back to the community. They have also brightened up the street and we have received lots of positive feedback from residents.”
Two Social Enterprises based in Liverpool, Neighbourhood Services Company (NSC) and Blackburn House have been engaged to carry out the refurbishment works. As well as employing local labour, the contractors will offer work placements to two local Cobalt tenants to offer them experience of working in the construction industry. The contractors will also be involved in hosting a number of other events, including a free D.I.Y event for the local community.
Cobalt Housing is committed to improving it neighbourhoods and environment and has recently been awarded the Keep Britain Tidy: Cleaner, Safer, Greener Neighbourhood Quality Mark, for its work in Norris Green.