Little Shrubs arrange communal gardening event to keep their Guildford estate looking great
Published by Debbie Pack for Home Group in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
An event took place recently hosted by the Little Shrubs gardening team, based on the Langley Close estate in Guildford, and staff from Home Group’s Havant office.
Little Shrubs were out in the community making sure gardens are well maintained and looking their best and that the estate’s standards for tidiness remain high. The event was attended by residents from Langley Close, Hamilton Gordon Court and Josephs Road.
Little Shrubs was set up three years ago and has become a highly popular and effective local group that has done some excellent work improving its community through gardening.
It has organised regular ‘clean-up’ days, created some stunning flower beds and even a turned a disused car park into a colourful communal space complete with graffiti mural and games. The team won the Guildford Council Community Youth Award a couple of years ago and used the prize money of £700.00 to create the communal space.
As a Little Shrubs member explains: “Our project has gone from strength to strength since it was set up three years ago. It is a huge hit with the residents here, especially the younger ones. We visited over 60 properties to make sure front gardens were weeded, car park areas strimmed and any litter removed. We will also visited residents with disabilities to help keep their gardens maintained. It was great for all residents to get together, have some fun and keep our estate looking fantastic for summer.”
Housing association Home manages 64 properties at Langley Close and Hamilton Gordon Court and staff will be attending to help with any repairs or maintenance queries residents may have. A giant skip was also arranged so that Home customers could dispose of bulky disused items without paying a collection fee.
Paul Wilson-Suffield, Housing Officer for Home in Havant, helped organise the event. He says: “The event was enhanced by the bright summer sunshine and loads of enthusiasm from customers and staff alike. Staff from both Home and Rok, plus volunteers from the local church helped make the event a success.
“Surrey Police donated £150.00 towards food for the day and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Chris Moyse has established a great relationship with the all our customers and their children.
“Our repairs contractors Rok did a great job and were able to carry out 27 repairs during the day which saved our customers time in making and waiting for appointments.
“The day was finished off nicely with a BBQ cooked by our very own Master Chef Estate Manager Brian Gaines who had recently taken his food handling course for occasions such as this.
“Before Little Shrubs was set up staff were receiving 15 to 20 calls a week from residents complaining about anti-social behaviour or vandalism. This has been reduced to nearly zero since the onset of the club – a remarkable achievement.”
Little Shrubs currently has 25 members aged from three to 16 and eight adult members (parents, grand parents or guardians of ‘Little Shrubs’.) They meet once a month to maintain their community areas
Little Shrubs received more funding recently from Surrey County Council for £1,500. This will be spent on raised beds to grow vegetables. Plus, plans are also underway to transform grassed banks of an adjoining car park into more communal gardens.
If you would like more information please contact:
Debbie Pack, PR Officer
Home (South and Central)
T: 020 8582 2203
M: 07985 339551
Home was established in 1935, in response to the deprivations faced in the North East during the Depression. Seventy five years on, we continue to adapt to changing economic conditions.
We are proud of our heritage and our people and strive to bring neighbourhoods to life, shaping them into great places to live and work. Customers are at the heart of everything we do and are actively involved in deciding what we do and how we do it at both management and community level.
Over 4,500 people work at Home Group, supporting over 200,000 customers in 55,000 homes. We help over 20,000 clients in 520 support schemes across England and Scotland.
Home Group was the first housing association to raise private finance and one of the first to recognise the difference that affordable housing can make to rural communities. We were a key player in the early development of neighbourhood management, supporting whole communities and have been leaders in care and support since 1976
Our ultimate aim is that by working together with our customers, clients and partners we are able to offer improved quality, better value, increased choice, opening doors to better lives.
Home has a well-established development and regeneration function, producing 800 new homes per year.
Home manages nearly 15,000 properties in its south region, through a network of 14 regional offices. Properties Home provides are a mix of rented, shared ownership, leasehold and leasehold schemes for older people.
Home manages 335 homes in Guildford through its regional office based in Havant.