Housing group member takes gold award at Chelsea Flower Show
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A member of the Together Housing Group has taken centre stage at the Chelsea Flower Show, scooping the Gold Award within the ‘Fresh Garden’ category.
Newground - which delivers environmental services and community programmes to regenerate communities - created a sculptural and "emotive" installation called ‘Reachout’, depicting the difficult journey many young people face in Blackburn and how their lives can be changed with the right guidance and support.
The award-winning garden features a striking metal sculpture of a crouched figure leaning against a slate stone wall, reflecting one young person at the beginning of their journey with all the potential wrong choices laid out before them.
Their hand dips into a nine-metre long water-channel leading them through life’s hurdles and navigating the temptation seen in a series of stone columns which gradually become smaller and smoother before finally blending with the planting.
At the end there is an air of tranquillity where aromatic herbs of thyme and rosemary depict the goal as the young person’s journey into society and adulthood is complete.
Nick Riley, a director at Newground, said: “This feature encapsulates what we do and we are just thrilled that it has been recognised with a gold award. Winning gold at Chelsea is the pinnacle of garden design and we can’t thank John, his team and of course our valued sponsors enough as we couldn’t have done this without them.
“Our Reachout garden really highlights our work with young people, education and our environmental work in one piece and we hope its gold award win will help bring the very diverse and crucial work Newground and the Together Housing Group do to national attention."
John Everiss, sculptor, said: "Newground is an inspiration to me. They tackle the issues at the heart of society without being profit driven. The real life stories they presented to me were the inspiration for this design and to see this rewarded with a gold win is really humbling.”
And there could be more success to come. 'Reachout' has been included in the People’s Choice vote.
Steve Close, Together Housing Group chief executive, added: “To say this is an incredible achievement is an understatement.
"The piece conveys an important message as to the services we actually provide to our communities. We are more than just a landlord, we are the heartbeat of our communities and we do vital work with many people across many social groups.
“Many congratulations to everyone involved in this project.”