Thirteen is inviting residents of North Ormesby to compete for a £500 prize, to create the best community spaces in the alleyways, behind their homes.

In partnership with Middlesbrough Council, housing company Thirteen is encouraging local residents in North Ormesby to help make the area a brighter, more attractive place to live.

People living in eight streets in the area are being asked to volunteer their time and those who create the winning space will win a share of £500, registration for the scheme is open until 6 March.

Volunteers will be supported to design and create areas that will best suit the residents and the streets they live on. Over four days from 14 April, they will work together with staff from Thirteen and the council to complete their designs.

Thirteen and Middlesbrough Council are providing funding and equipment, including material to build planters, bird boxes and bug hotels, compost, hanging baskets, plants, tools, floor paint and benches.

Lyndsey Coe, Thirteen’s senior neighbourhood development manager, said: “We’ve been talking to residents in the area about what they want to see that will improve their neighbourhood.

“People told us that they’d like to have more places to meet their neighbours, do some gardening or just sit and enjoy during the summer, so we’re asking residents to get involved and volunteer one day of their time to help create new community spaces in the alleys behind their homes.

“We’re working with the community on a number of projects in North Ormesby, including the revamp of Henry Street park, and the alley gardens scheme will help to bring attractive community spaces right into the heart of the neighbourhood.

“Many of the alleys are gated and can only be used by people living on the streets, so we’re hoping that as many people as possible will volunteer to get involved.”

North Ormesby ward member Councillor Ashley Waters, said: “We’ve achieved amazing things over recent months, and there’s a real sense of community spirit and purpose in North Ormesby.

“By working together with the council and partners like Thirteen, local residents have shown they can make a real and lasting difference.

“This latest scheme is yet another opportunity to give something back, and create vibrant, welcoming spaces for the whole community to enjoy.

“We know it’s worked in other parts of the town, and I’m looking forward to seeing North Ormesby’s alleys transformed over the coming months.”

For more details and to order an entry pack, residents can visit www.thirteengroup.co.uk/AlleyGardens and complete the online form. Alternatively, talk to Thirteen’s neighbourhood co-ordinator for the area on 0300 111 1000.