Over 3,000 Sunderland College students and staff armed with paint, brushes, bin-liners and spades took to the streets to spruce up the city.
With military precision, the red-shirted army spread out across Sunderland city centre to reinvigorate run-down areas and clean-up cluttered corners.
The College teamed up with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) for the three day project, which is part of the BID’s “100 Quick Wins” initiative to improve the city centre.
Dubbed the #CleanSweep across social media channels, the project gained huge interest across Twitter and Facebook.
Sunderland College Principal and Chief Executive, Ellen Thinnesen, said: “The College is not just based in the city, we are part of it – our students and employees contribute towards making Sunderland the vibrant place it is, attending events, driving the economy and generally creating a feel-good buzz.
“We’re now proud to be permanent city centre fixtures, so it’s only right that we give something back, and here we have the opportunity to make sure Sunderland looks as good as it can. The students attacked this innovative project with real enthusiasm and I think most recognised the opportunity to deliver positive change in a relatively short period of time.
“Many of the volunteers are from Sunderland and saw it as a unique opportunity to demonstrate how we are united as a city, especially as we enter the final few weeks of the UK City of Culture contest.”
Some of the jobs undertaken included litter picking and weeding planters, sweeping debris from cluttered streets and painting run-down shop-front shutters.