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Group of teenagers appeal for help in cleaning up Darlington's war graves
A TEAM of teenagers are dedicating themselves to clearing up the war graves in West Cemetery and are inviting the public to help.
The youngsters, all aged between 16 and 17, are carrying out the work on August 31 as part of the National Citizenship Scheme which encourages youths to volunteer for the benefit of their community.
The 12-strong group, who are all from the Darlington area and did not know each other before joining the scheme, held daily meetings to decide how they could help improve the borough.
Team member Ellie Jenkinson, 16, of Stanhope Road, said the war graves idea was a unanimous decision and they hoped that many Darlington residents would join them on the afternoon clean-up.
She added: “We thought hard about what we could do.
“We thought about clearing up parks and places like that, but then we got on to the war graves idea and thought it was something unique and also a way to show our respect to the soldiers.”
There are around 190 graves of soldiers from both the First and Second World Wars in West Cemetery and while around 30 are very well-maintained, many more have been neglected.
The team has branded their initiative Lasting Legacy Day and hope to make it an annual affair and involve other youth and children’s groups in the future.
They are being supported by Darlington Executive Recruitment company Populus Select who are providing flowers for the graves.
Anybody who would like to help the team should go to the cemetery between noon and 3pm on August 31.
Limited gardening equipment will be available and donations of flowers will be welcomed.
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