Green Fingered Endeavour Tenants SHINE at awards
Published by Esme Trelease for Endeavour Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities, Education
Stephen Forrest recieves commendation from David Orr
A Housing Association scheme which helps vulnerable young people in Stockton gain confidence and skills by teaching them to grow their own fruit and vegetables has received a commendation.
Endeavour Housing Association’s Parkfield Hall Gardening Scheme was highly commended at the National Housing Federation’s SHINE awards at the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle.
The Showcasing Housing in the North East (SHINE) awards celebrate the exceptional work of Housing Associations. They are judged and presented by David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation. This year’s two awards categories were Fulfilling Lives in Young Adults and Older People.
The Parkfield Hall scheme allows young residents who live in sheltered accommodation to grow their own fruit and vegetables on a small patch of previously unused land on the site.
All of the gardening sessions are run by residents of the scheme themselves, ensuring that they build up a rapport with others and a stronger sense of self-esteem. A number of the tenants have learning difficulties, emotional problems and mental health problems.
Monica Burns, North East Lead Manager for the National Housing Federation, said,
“I would like to extend my congratulations to Endeavour Housing Association for their success at the 2012 SHINE awards. Endeavour’s Parkfield Hall Gardening Scheme shows how a smaller housing organisation can make a real difference to young people by teaching them new hands-on skills such as gardening on a small budget. Our members are great at thinking creatively to ensure any opportunity to improve the lives of tenants is exploited to its full potential. Endeavour’s scheme is a great example of this.”
All of the food grown on the land is used in cookery classes at the shelter, meaning nothing goes to waste. The project also helps tenants gain fresh air and exercise.
Endeavour Support Worker, Stephen Forrest, who worked with Parkfield’s aspiring gardeners said he was over the moon that their hard work and dedication has been recognised,
“This commendation is a wonderful boost to all those who are involved in the gardening project. The scheme has been a great success from day one, making a real difference to the lives of everyone who participated. We’re looking forward to many more fulfilling years of gardening!”
Residents from nearby sheltered accommodation projects for young people have also been invited to join the Parkfield Hall project.
The scheme has proved so successful other local organisations are now also considering using small plots of land on their sites for gardening projects.