A ‘GIVE or Take Day’ in West Howe on Saturday saw the launch of a blueprint for improving the area.

Put together by the council’s regeneration partnership, the West Howe Commitment is a booklet designed to emphasise the many positive aspects of the area and its close-knit community, while also outlining aspirations for improvement.

To emphasise the desire for change to be community-driven, the booklet itself was produced by volunteers and local residents, with the support of West Howe Community Enterprises and Gazelle Design.

Neighbourhood development officer Martha Searle said: “This is a way of sharing with everybody what we are signing on to do with the community, building on the work which is already taking place here.

“People who are searching for work but who are suffering constant knock-backs can lose confidence, which is why our helping residents help the community makes such a huge difference.

“It gives people a stronger social network, which in turn leads to people having healthier and happier lives.

Among targets for 2014 the commitment includes a clear plan setting out the sites of new community facilities and services, a new policing model to target anti-social behaviour, developing the local residents’ job club and providing more opportunities for people to undertake training and get qualifications.

Visitors to the Henry Brown Youth Centre on the day also took advantage of free health checks and advice about cutting home energy costs and starting a business.

Visit westhowe.net for more information.

Copies of the West Howe Commitment can be picked up from public buildings in the area, including the library.