CHURCHES and partner agencies came together to make a real difference to a Kendal estate during a 10-day cleaning blitz.

Sandylands received a spruce-up from an army of volunteers, who rolled up their sleeves to rejuvenate run-down areas.

Among the areas targeted was a graffiti-covered ginnel known as Hayton’s cut-through – it took two days to get the paint to stick to the wall after rain washed off the first coat.

The HOPE event was the brainchild of Sandylands Methodist Church, backed by worshippers from St Thomas’ Church, South Lakes Housing and the local residents’ association, plus students from Derbyshire’s Cliff College.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron also got involved in painting and said how he had enjoyed joining event co-ordinator Jonny Gios and the team.

As well as tidying up grot spots they also brightened up gardens and one of the people helped was an elderly resident who had trees chop-ped down at the rear of his property, he said.

One of the highlights was Sandylands Methodist Church not holding a tradit-ional Palm Sunday service for 77 years and getting out in the community.

They held a Big Breakfast, which gave people an opportunity to explore the meaning of Easter in a fresh way.

Local businesses supplied more than 200 eggs, sausages and bacon for a fry-up and students performed drama and held talks about Easter in the open air. The church also erected a large marquee for locals to discover ‘the true meaning’ of Easter.

Mr Gios said: “The week has been amazing. To see churches coming together with local residents has been really heart-warming.”