A team of young people have transformed a neglected memorial garden in Witton, to the delight of relatives of civilians who lost their lives during the Second World War.
The members of the Prince's Trust Team, a 12-week personal development programme, had little idea that their community project at Witton Cemetery would make such an impression and they have had tremendous encouragement and positive feedback from the local community.
Glyn Bowers of The Prince's Trust said: "Team 55 are a great example of how a diverse group of people can learn to look at things in an entirely new way. The enthusiasm and commitment they put into this project after initially showing signs of apathy, has been exceptional.
"Suddenly they wanted to know more about how people kept their spirit during enemy air raids and appreciated the true purpose of the memorial, which was to acknowledge the level of human suffering surrounding Birmingham at that time."
The memorial garden was created after the Second World War as a tribute to civilians who had lost their lives and until Team 55 came along, the area had gone to rack and ruin and was in desperate need of a facelift.
Glyn added: "Prince's Trust Teams must actively fund-raise in order to support their community project and this was something that Team 55 took on with great determination.
"They had the support of businesses such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and community groups including Friends of Witton Cemetery. Along with pitching in with the garden renovation work, the business knowledge and expertise supplied by these organisations gave the team the confidence to complete their project to the best of their ability."
The team arranged for a stolen bird bath to be replaced with a sundial, repaired vandalised brickwork and planted shrubs and trees. They also delved into the history of the garden and contacted relatives of the deceased to invite them to attend a service to unveil the new-look garden.
Countless visitors have come to pay their respects since the garden's restitution, with its upkeep actively undertaken by many local residents.
On completing their programme, the team members significantly improved their communication, organisation and team-working skills, putting them in a stronger position to enter further education and training or gain employment.
Team 55 have now been short-listed in the NatWest Community Impact Award category for The Prince's Trust Celebrate Success awards that take place at the ICC, Birmingham today.
For further information about supporting a Prince's Trust Team, call 0121 689 6898 or visit www.princes-trust.org.uk