More than 100 individuals and community groups have come together to celebrate the diversity of the borough and kindness in the community.

'Love Your Neighbour' first began in Birmingham with the idea that small, everyday acts of kindness can bring people and communities together building harmony, mutual respect and care.

The campaign, led by Terry Doyle, Development Officer for Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland, (a joint venture between the Diocese of York and Church Urban Fund) was launched at an event.

The launch saw 142 individuals from the public, private and voluntary sectors tell their stories of kindness, sometimes in song, and explained how they contribute on a daily basis to making the borough's communities happier places to live.

Terry Doyle said:

“This event has been a culmination of months’ worth of planning, and I am so grateful for the council’s support. I truly believe this will inspire people to celebrate their community, friendships and the area, at a time when we really need people to come together.”

Terry Doyle

Among the projects outlined:

  • East Cleveland Scarecrow Festival - a fun and engaging initiative bringing together families, groups and individuals.

  • The Link – a Redcar based professional mental health and emotional well-being provider that provides therapeutic services to children, young people and families across the area gave details on their “it’s cool to be kind project.”

  • The Methodist asylum project which offers a warm welcome, emotional and practical support to newly arriving asylum seekers into our area

  • Zetland Pride Alley Gates Project. For communities to grow, communities must connect. This is a project that has turned around the whole culture of a community. Fly tipping and graffiti have become a thing of the past replacing these with a community that sees people coming together to grow plants and friendships.

Love Thy Neighbour event Credit: Redcar and Cleveland Council

A symbolic pledge banner was also signed by attendees and will appear at community events across the borough to encourage more organisations to get on board, including the Redcar Triathlon and September’s Festival of Thrift.

'Love Your Neighbour' is also being supported by all of the borough’s schools with a pledge card campaign, some of which were on display on the day.

Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said:

“It has been an absolutely brilliant morning. It was great to hear all the things that people do to make a difference to people’s lives, and you can really see the community working together. I believe this event is so important and will be a catalyst to encourage more and more activity going forward.”

Sue Jeffrey