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Gravesend Community Organisers "restored pride to rat island"

PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:01 01 February 2013

Nick Hurd with Northcourt estate residents

Nick Hurd with Northcourt estate residents

Archant

Community organisers at the Riverside Centre have "restored pride to a community that had previously been named rat island", a government minister said on Wednesday (30).

Paddy Bates, Hannah Terry and Marc Canton have been hired by the Office of Civil Society as Community Organisers and trained to encourage local people to work together and make Northcourt estate a better place to live.

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd visited the Gravesend centre on Wednesday (30) to see their impact on the area.

He said: “You can sit in an office in Westminster and devise a programme, but getting to meet people in their local community where the Community Organisers have really made a difference makes it become very real.

“The organisers have encouraged and motivated the residents to help them help themselves. The residents have set up a choir which is open to everyone and have organised activities for young people such as football clubs and sports days.”

Paddy Bates, one of the Community Organisers employed to work with residents on the Northcourt estate, said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet the minister today and hear the residents tell him about all the fantastic things that they have achieved in less than 10 months.”

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