AMATEUR graffiti artists, some as young as three, grabbed paintbrushes and spray cans to help brighten up Rochford.

Construction firm Allenbuild allowed children from youth club Footprints to decorate the boards around a flat development in St Mark's Field.

The boardings were covered in swear words when Footprints founder member Jackie Pope, came up with the idea.

She said the volunteer artists worked hard to decorate the boards with paintings of houses.

"It's a whole community project," she said.

"We've had kids aged from as young as three to 18 painting the sort of houses they would like to live in. The community was a bit low after having more flats built, but this has really pulled it together again.

"The kids think it's fantastic."

Malcolm Lowe, contract manager on the development said it was an unusual step for the contractors to take.

He said: "We agreed to help community relations and it's of no cost to us.

"We are hoping this doesn't promote other graffiti."