Over the last few months a resident-led community-action project has brought together local schools and groups to design new artwork to cover up the graffiti and damage on the murals at Arden Road Shops in New Frankley, and to renew pride in the area. On Friday 26 October the ten new murals, painted by local artist James Daniel, were unveiled and at the heart of the celebrations was New Frankley in Birmingham Parish Council, the first parish council in the city, now awarded a special centenary Blue Plaque for their services to the community and environment since 2000.
As part of our centenary year we invited young people from Balaam Wood Secondary School to work with us to create a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary about the community mural project. They interviewed those involved in making it happen, researched the history of the area to inform their own design ideas for the new artwork, and have created a fantastic film to inspire their generation to get more involved in community matters. The staff and students were also asked to nominate an individual or an organisation which had made a significant contribution to their local area for a special centenary blue plaque and New Frankley in Birmingham Parish Council was top of their list.
We are delighted to give this award to an organisation which clearly demonstrates today what can be achieved on a local level when volunteers and active citizens drive change themselves and make a difference in their own communities. This echoes our own aims as a volunteer-led Society; for 100 years we have been working to make Birmingham a better place for everyone, encouraging community engagement and promoting pride in our city.