Community spirit alive and well following week of action
Published by Kelly Elliott for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities
Photo 2: From l-r Carly Beet (Keepmoat RLO), resident Tracey Marsden, David Greaves (Dales Housing), resident Sarah Stone, Kerri Ollivent (Keepmoat RLO) and Housing Officer Sue Marsh (Dales Housing)
A Derbyshire housing estate has been transformed thanks to a ‘week of action’, resulting in a fall in anti-social behaviour and an increase in community spirit.
The ‘respect week’ took place on the Hurst Farm Estate, in Matlock, and involved a number of organisations including Dales Housing, which owns and manages many of the homes, and Frank Haslam Milan (FHM), part of housing and regeneration company Keepmoat, which is carrying out improvements to properties in the town.
The aim of the week was to tackle issues identified by residents during previous consultations, including problems with litter and anti-social behaviour.
With help from partners and the local community, rubbish was cleared from gardens, garages and alleyways, with ten tonnes of garden refuse removed in one day alone.
In the run up to the event, Dales Housing and the police carried out a number of joint raids, with tenancy enforcement notices also served to problem tenants.
Dave Jarvie, Tenancy and Income Manager from Dales Housing said: “Our tenants on the estate told us there were certain issues they were concerned about and the aim was to team up with our partners to address these in one fell swoop.
“Already the feedback has been really positive – residents have told us that they have noticed a drop in anti-social behaviour and are really impressed with how the estate is looking.
“Having met and spoken to representatives from the different organisations involved in the week, we have found residents are now more confident about contacting either ourselves at Dales Housing or the police if they have any concerns in future.
“We hope the ‘respect week’ will have a lasting impact on the Hurst Farm Estate and would definitely aim to hold similar events again in future.”
Other organisations involved in the event included the police, Community Payback, Derbyshire County Council's Street Scene department, Jigsaw, Vale Contracts and Sainsbury’s.
The week culminated in a celebration event at Hurst Farm Community Centre, which included a Punch and Judy show, face painting, rock climbing and free hot dogs for local children.
Help and advice about housing and managing money was on hand from the organisations taking part, with staff from Keepmoat also handing out free plants to brighten up residents’ newly-tidied gardens.
Leigh Nurse, Contracts Manager at Keepmoat, said: “It was wonderful to see the whole community coming together to make a difference to the area in which they live and there is a real sense of community pride in what has been achieved.
“We’ve been carrying out work for Dales Housing for around 18 monthsnow and were really pleased to be able to get involved and to play our part in the project.
“It just goes to show what can happen in a short space of time when everyone gets stuck in and works together.”