Chesterfield youngsters campaign for graffiti walls

National Citizen Project youngsters from NCS Team Inspire have come up with a plan for legally designated wall spaces for grafitti.
National Citizen Project youngsters from NCS Team Inspire have come up with a plan for legally designated wall spaces for grafitti.

A newly-formed teenage community group has launched a project to establish legally designated wall space in Chesterfield for graffiti artists to produce and show off their work.

The 12 youngsters from the National Citizens Service group, called Team Inspire, were brought together after they enrolled via the Future Foundations group through their schools in Chesterfield - including Newbold Outwood Academy, Tupton and St Mary’s.

NCS Team Inspire member Aaron Austin said: “We are a group of 12 students going into the NCS scheme.

“The scheme is recognised and run by the government and is based on youngsters putting something back in our community.

“Our project proposal which we are going to petition and campaign for is to have designated Legal Graffiti Walls within Chesterfield called #YourWall.”

The NCS scheme is designed to develop youngsters’ self-esteem and social skills and to support their future education and careers.

Groups undergo several phases including team-building, living away from home, taking part in a community project and graduation.

Team Inspire’s Amy Goldthorpe said: “This is a campaign to stop the illegal graffiti on shop shutters, walls, skate parks, shops, streets, and in communities. Instead we want it keeping it to designated, legal areas of Chesterfield. We believe graffiti is more than just anti social behaviour, it is art and just another form of human expression. This project will also target anti-social crime and hopefully reduce the rates around the town centre and communities.”

Those interested in supporting Team Inspire can visit their Facebook page: Team Inspire - NCS, and can sign up to their online petition at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/online-graffiti-petition.

Once Team Inspire’s Project is completed, the members will present their scheme to community figures to assess and consider how their plans might be rolled out.

The National Citizen Service is for 15 to 17-year-olds living in England and Northern Ireland to develop their sense of community spirit as well as friendships.

An NCS spokesman said: “NCS graduates are also equipped with the character strengths needed to flourish in later life.”