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Amid the bright lights and glory of the Olympics, youngsters were quietly showing love for their part of the borough.

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Churches in Forest Gate joined forces to organise community-based activities in the shadow of the Games.

More than 70 dug gardens, swept roads, and took part in events at the Jack Cornwell Centre in Manor Park as part of the 10-day Love E7 scheme.

And last week, they could be seen on their hands and knees re-painting side panels along the side of Balmoral Road bridge.

Organiser Jimmy Dale, from Newham Youth for Christ, said: “This was about young people getting together and showing love for Forest Gate.

“The idea behind it is that young people are so often shown in a less than positive light.

“We are about helping some of these churches connect with young people. Some of them will continue with (the churches) once this is over.”

The churches involved included St Mark’s in Forest Gate, Woodgrange Baptist Church, St Saviour’s Church, and Emmanuel Church in Forest Gate.

Newham Youth for Christ’s first projects are to start again in September.

Mr Dale said the youngsters had come away with increased pride in their community, helped by the success of Stratford’s own silver medallist Christine Ohurougu.

He added: “Hopefully off the back of that, there will be a good effect on Newham.”

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