Green-thinking residents win national award
Published by KBarnes for New Charter Housing Trust Group in Environment and also in Communities, Housing
Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy; residents Michelle Phillips and Chelsea Phillips, New Charter’s resident involvement officer, Linda Whyatt, residents Lewis Phillips and Frank Gittens, and BBC News reporter and presenter, Justin Rowlat
A group of residents have won a top national award for their environmental work in their community.
Residents from the Micklehurst estate in Mossley, Tameside, have been growing their own vegetables and running cooking classes to teach others how to turn produce into meals. They have also started a bingo lunch club for older and vulnerable people in the area and created a wild flower meadow and orchard that the whole community can enjoy.
Their hard work has been recognised by England’s environmental charity and anti-litter campaigners, Keep Britain Tidy.
The residents fought off tough competition from councils and large organisations across the country to be crowned winners of the ‘Love Where You Live’ community award. The Keep Britain Tidy awards recognise groups and organisations that have run the best ‘green’ projects and campaigns.
Over the past 12 months, Micklehurst residents have worked tirelessly, committing long hours and great community spirit to a number of projects which have improved the environment and wellbeing of local residents.
They have also visited other estates to share resources and ideas with residents and help them to start gardening. In the future they hope to start keeping bees and chickens.
Residents have lead on these projects with funding and support from their housing association New Charter Homes.
They have made links with the local Primary Care Trust and ‘healthy life options’ sessions have been run to help reduce dental and health issues such as obesity. More residents are growing their own produce and cooking healthy meals at home as a result of the work done by the residents’ group.
Through their volunteer work, some of the residents have now gained permanent employment due to the skills and confidence they have developed. Others have taken up training so they can educate and support others.
Frank Gittens, dedicated member of the residents’ association comments on their success:
“We’re so delighted and overwhelmed to be recognised for our work. To us, this is all in a day’s volunteering. Making a difference to others and making our estate look nice is what keeps us going. It’s great how many residents are getting involved, there’s now a great sense of community on the estate and it’s helped to change lives.”
Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy said: “New Charter Housing are worthy winners of what was an exceptionally strong category.
New Charter Housing and the group of residents, Muddy Buddies have embraced the ethos of the Love Where You Live campaign, and empowered their local community to take responsibility and contribute to improving local environmental quality."
“It's great to see that Muddy Buddies have transformed a run down area and turned it into an attractive and desirable area with residents who really do love where they live".
Just seven years ago, large areas of this estate were boarded up and hard to let.
New Charter Homes, director of communities, Emma Marsh said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see what our residents have achieved on their estate and it’s great to see them work so hard for the benefit of others.
“They are credit to their community and have helped to transform a community into an attractive and clean place where people want to get involved.”