Croydon wild garden opens in memory of AmicusHorizon worker
Published by amicushorizon for AmicusHorizon Group in Housing
Kenneth Benjamin's family stand by the area that is set to include a fruit tree and wild flower garden
A new garden and allotment has been opened in Croydon in memory of AmicusHorizon’s Kenneth Benjamin.
For around 10 years the land behind 2 and 4 Dagmar Road had been used as a dumping ground for fly tippers, with several planning applications to build homes on the land turned down.
So the housing association who owns the land, AmicusHorizon, decided to create a green space for their supported residents.
The project has been dedicated to Kenneth Benjamin, a Project Surveyor at AmicusHorizon, who unexpectedly passed away while on holiday in America in August.
Over the last few weeks the site has been dramatically transformed thanks to dedicated staff from AmicusHorizon and contractor Wates. Raised planting beds have been built for residents to grow fruit and vegetables and a shed and walkway have been installed. And over the coming months the area is set to include a fruit tree and wild flower garden, designed to attract various wildlife.
The site was officially opened on Friday 18 October, the day before Kenneth would have turned 51. The event was attended by Kenneth’s family and friends, and AmicusHorizon staff, including Chief Executive, Paul Hackett.
Mr Hackett said: "I'm delighted and proud to be part of this official opening of the wonderful allotment and garden. A good day’s work in housing is when you see people's lives being changed for the better as a result of your endeavours. We know Kenneth made that difference and he was well known across AmicusHorizon for his friendly, happy and helpful manner. We hope Kenneth’s family gain some comfort from the joy this garden will bring to people."
Barry Waller, Asset Manager for the London Region at AmicusHorizon, added: "Kenneth was a big character in the team and he would always come into work with a smile on his face. We all enjoyed working with him and he is dearly missed."
Kenneth’s sister Linda Benjamin said: "The Benjamin family are humbled and honoured at having this allotment named after Kenneth. We hope it will become a living, vibrant place – very much in keeping with how Kenneth lived his life. He often described AmicusHorizon as the best employer he’d worked for and it’s with great pride our family see them immortalise him with such a lovely tribute. We’d like to thank Paul Hackett, Barry Waller and all AmicusHorizon staff."
The garden was originally designed for the benefit of residents of Casa Support, AmicusHorizon’s supported housing department. Following positive feedback however, the housing association are now considering opening it up to the wider community and are looking for local volunteers to help out.