'It's fun to garden at the YMCA'
A LIFESTYLE group had a blooming great idea to transform the YMCA's barren garden into a useful haven.
A group of Cleethorpes Academy school girls spent their summer as The GHoPA Angels in order to overhaul the venue on Peaks Lane with new plants, paving, a barbecue, and a woodchip area.
The girls worked for more than 1,000 hours and they managed to get everything donated from local businesses such as a skip from Biffa, paint from The Dulux Centre, plants from Pennells Garden Centre and chairs from Asda and B&Q.
Lifestyler Bethany Castle, 15, from Cleethorpes, said: "The garden was really over grown and it didn't look nice at all – but after tidying it up and a bit of hard work it looks so much better!
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"It was hard work, but good fun at the same time."
Laura Clark, 15, helped paint the wooden shelter. She said: "We had to get rid of a lot of rubbish in the garden and it took us about seven weeks.
"We even painted the toilets blue for boys and pink for girls. It was good to do something with my summer – it was very productive seeing the outcome."
Fellow Lifestyler, Sophie Snowden, 16, believed the key to a successful transformation was to "share the work load".
She said: "It was fantastic to see the end results – it was a slow process, but we finally got there and we hope all the occupants of the YMCA will be able to enjoy our efforts."
It is the second time hardworking Lifestyler Beth Gabbitas has completed the Humberside Police project.
She said: "This is my second time doing a Lifestyle project and last year we painted some beach huts in Cleethorpes – but I definitely preferred this project because more people can use it.
"It was something to do in my summer holidays and I feel like I have really helped people."
Malcolm Smith, acting chief executive officer of the YMCA on Peaks Lane, said the teams effort was "outstanding".
"I would like to say thank you to those who have given up their time and created this fantastic garden," he said.
"It will make a difference to young people who have not had the best start in life and hopefully it will give them a lift.
"We will be using the area frequently now by putting on some excellent activities."
And the company who will be putting on the fun is the not-for-profit organisation Get Hooked on Positive Activities.
Mark Fenty, MD of GHoPA, said: "We supported the Lifestyle group by assisting them with their choice of renovation and what would be suitable for the residents.
"We will be putting on a number of Olympic-themed events, as well as laser clay pigeon shooting, golf and all kinds of fun activities.
"It is great that the YMCA can now use this area to its full potential and, most of all, they can have fun."