Leyland Girl Guides' pavement messages supporting good mental health are washed away by council

One of the Guides' pavement messages
One of the Guides' pavement messages
Share this article

The council has come under fire for washing away ‘inspirational’ messages chalked on the ground by Girl Guides in Leyland town centre.

Members of the 7th Leyland URC Rainbows, Brownies and Guides guides took to the street to create them.

Another message

Another message

Their words - written on Hough Lane - included:

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”.

“You’re beautiful just as you are”.

“Only one person can change your life you”!

Guides leader Nadine Sumner said the girls were aiming to show their support for good mental health and wellbeing.

“It was to promote good mental health,” she said. “We thought we would support something positive and spread the message on the street.”

She said the project was made public through social media and received some very positive support and feedback. “So people appreciated it,” said Nadine.

“One lady driving past wound her window down and thanked them and really appreciated what they’d done.”

She added that the guides checked that their chalked messages would not have any environmental impact or cause any offence.

“It was done to improve on a temporary measure the lives of the people of Leyland - not in a malicious way at all,” she explained. “I feel very sad that something done in a very positive light could be taken so negatively.

“We don’t wish to offend anybody. It was done on Hough Lane along the pavement. They were given clear instructions they wouldn’t write on anyone’s property.
It’s very difficult to see where the boundaries are.

“We were trying to do something nice for the community.

Nadine apologised if they had caused any problems but said: “We were trying to do something nice for the community.”

She said she thought the council had gone over the top.

“It was very heavy handed,” she said.

The messages went down well with lots of folk.

One resident, Sarah Ward posted on social media: “Walking down Hough Lane and just seeing inspirational messages wrote on the floor.... I’m not sure what the purpose of these messages was or who did. But I needed to see some of them this morning. Whoever did it. U deserve a pat on the back”

The Guides received support from the 2nd Leyland Scout group, who said on their Facebook page: “Brilliant messages from our local girl guides! Shame the council washed them all away!”

Councillor Sue Jones, cabinet member for environment at South Ribble Borough Council, said: “What wonderful sentiments provided by the group in their chalk messages along Hough Lane.

"The council completely supports the spreading of inspirational messages to improve people’s wellbeing and would encourage community groups to get in touch with us to discuss how we can work together to spread the positive messages across the borough.

“On this occasion, as the council was not made prior aware of the intention to spread public messages, the team were alerted by a member of the public to the messages and under current procedure, removed them.

“As said, we do absolutely want to encourage the spreading of inspirational messaging and if the group wish to contact us to discuss options to work with the council in the future, it would be most welcome.”