THEY came, they saw…and they cleaned up.

Young and old alike turned out in force to give a Middlesbrough cemetery a makeover.

The Tees Valley Green Day initiative was the latest project of the TS! Community Group, in partnership with the Friends of Thorntree Cemeteries and supported by Middlesbrough Council’s Environment, Property Services and Commercial Department.

The two-hour community event was organised in support of the work done in Thorntree Cemetery and Thorntree RC Cemetery to make them both nicer places to visit.

Those attending planted hedges, tended to the edges of the burial sections and generally helped to improve the environment for visitors.

Gohar Ihsan, who leads the TS! Tees Valley Community Group, said: “Once again this was a great opportunity to give something back to the community, and I’m delighted so many people turned out to lend a hand – everyone had a great time, and even got some exercise into the bargain.

“The aim of this first Tees Valley Green Day was to benefit the local community and those who visit the cemeteries on a regular basis.

“The young people taking part get the opportunity to meet new people, learn some new skills and find out about the importance of working together and giving something to the community through volunteering.

“This is just the start – long-term we’d love to see people from across the Tees Valley participating regularly in various green community projects.”

George Conroy, of the Friends of Thorntree Cemetery, said: “We’re enormously grateful to everyone who attended and for their hard work in the cemeteries.

“It was nice to see so many young people giving back to the community and we’d like to offer a big thank you to the supervisors.”

Ian Campbell, who took part of behalf of Middlesbrough Council’s Environment department, said: “We always to our best to keep our cemeteries in the best possible condition, but that’s only possible with the support of local people like the TS! Community Group.

“Once again this was an excellent example of what can be achieved when we all pull together.

“The volunteers were all, without exception, pleasant, polite and hard-working, and their efforts are very much appreciated by everyone involved with the cemeteries.

“We’re already looking forward to working with everyone again.”

  • Anyone interested in taking part in other activities with the TS! Community Group should call 01642 817725 to find out more.