Launch of friends of cemetery group

Chair Susan Connor with fellow members of the Friends of Stranton Cemetery group.

Chair Susan Connor with fellow members of the Friends of Stranton Cemetery group.

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A NEW group has been formed which hopes to maintain and enhance a town cemetery.

The Friends of Stranton Cemetery Group aims to raise awareness of the Hartlepool site, help ensure it remains a peaceful environment and keep crime to an absolute minimum.

The group, made up of residents, councillors and Police Community Support Officers, will meet once a month to discuss projects and events.

Group leaders say they will work hard to promote a sustainable green space and make sure it remains an eco-friendly habitat.

They will work closely with cemetery staff and are urging people to get involved.

Susan Connor, chairwoman of the newly-established group, said: “I think the cemetery is one of the most beautiful places in the area.

“I do spent a lot of time here as do a lot of people and what we want to do is make it as welcoming and peaceful as possible.

“We want people to be able to make the most of the area.”

Despite only forming recently, the group already has a host of events lined up.

The first meeting is taking place later this month which residents are invited to attend.

Members are also taking part in the Keep Britain Tidy campaign and have organised an activity-packed day including litter picking, bulb planting and an afternoon sports session at Rossmere Youth Centre, in Rossmere Way, Hartlepool, involving town voluntary groups.

Group member Sue McBride, who is a neighbourhood development officer for Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We want to ensure the cemetery is a pleasant place to be but it’s not just that. We also want to educate and make people aware of the site through working with schools and voluntary organisations.

“We want to cut out any anti-social behaviour at the cemetery.”

The next meeting of the group takes place at the cemetery office on Tuesday, September 27 from 6pm.

New members are welcome.

The Big Tidy event is taking place on Wednesday, October 26.

For more information about the group contact Sue McBride on (01429) 523075 or email friendsofstrantoncemetery@hotmail.co.uk.