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Source: City of Sunderland

The awards included Washington Village going to the top of the form as it won Golf Class Winner for Best Village.

Joan Atkinson, a village resident and chair of Washington Bloom Society, said there was a strong community spirit in the village, which recently installed its sculpture of a soldier, kneeling in reverence at the village cenotaph.

She said: “We have built a new wooden seat and raised bed next to the bus stop to help mothers and toddlers and the elder rest their legs while also admiring the wonderful flowers.

“We have a large bug hotel and three smaller hotels, we have six information signs for visitors informing them of historical events and famous people, such as Gertrude Bell who was born in the village.

“Our group has a small band of dedicated volunteers of around 12 people who turn out every Sunday morning for two hours to weed, edge, clip, and collect leaves.

“We have been lucky enough to have been supported by our councillors, and the ground staff from Sunderland City Council who have helped us with a Community Chest Grant. Gentoo have been generous with their Aspire Grant, plus all the businesses in Washington Village who regularly support with donations.

“Barclays Bank have also been generous to give matched funding for our events. Thank you to all of you.”

Mayor of Sunderland and Washington East Councillor, David Snowdon said: “This award for Washington Village is a great achievement. There’s so many people here from the dedicated volunteers and council staff, to the businesses and groups who are supporting this work. A true example and demonstration of community spirit and how working together brings great results.” 

Other bloom winners included:
* Mowbray Park, which regularly receives Keep Britain Tidy Green Flag Awards, was a Gold medal in the parks category;

* Sunderland city centre received a silver gilt award;

* The University of Sunderland received a Gold and Best in Class in the public buildings and grounds category;

* Keel Square, in Sunderland city centre, received a silver award in the tourist and visitor attractions category;

* Sunderland BID (Business Improvement District) was awarded a silver in the city, town centre and BIDs category.

Special Royal Horticultural Society It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards went to the Friends of Fulwell, Holmlands Grounds in Ashbrooke, and the Parker Trust and Kayll Road Community Library in Pallion.

Northumbria in Bloom began in 1964 as one of the founder regions of the national Britain in Bloom competition. The Northumbria region is the area from Berwick in the north to Cleveland.

MIL OSI United Kingdom