School and community groups’ art designs scoop national award
Published by Craig Downs for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
Staff from Cestria Community Housing, Keepmoat, local community groups and residents celebrate with Ivor Goodsite after winning a national award in the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Ivor Goodsite Community Hoarding Competition
Colourful artwork designed by the local community to brighten up a construction site in Chester-le-Street has won a national award.
Last month, local residents and school children from Nettlesworth Primary School worked with local housing provider, Cestria Community Housing and national housing and regeneration specialist, Keepmoat to design hoardings for their new development at The Elms.
The designs impressed company bosses so much that Keepmoat entered them into the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Ivor Goodsite Community Hoarding Competition.
Now their designs, which are based on an environmental theme, have been announced as one of only five UK winners of the national awards.
Local community groups which worked with the children to help create the designs for the hoardings included the Crazy for Art group, the Brockwell Centre and the Society of Disabled Artists (SODA).
The annual awards aim to encourage builders to engage with their local communities by asking local people and groups to design hoardings for construction sites - around themes such as the environment and recycling and site safety. It’s also hoped it will raise awareness among children and young people about careers in the construction industry.
Ivor Goodsite, the Considerate Construction Scheme’s mascot visited The Elms this week to give out prizes to the children who took part in the project including medals, certificates and Ivor fun packs. The costumed character has been developed by the Scheme to engage with children about safety on/around construction sites.
Nationally, there were 50 entries and over 2,500 children who took part in the competition.
Lisa Coverdale, Customer Relationship Manager at Cestria Community Housing, said: “This project brought young and old together and was a great way to connect the work Cestria is doing to build new homes with the local communities living nearby. As a local provider, we work closely with our construction partners such as Keepmoat to ensure our sites are as clean and safe as possible and that all work is carried out in a way which minimises disruption to people living nearby.
“This initiative has helped to break down some of the barriers which can sometimes build up between local communities and developers. It’s been an opportunity for people to see the lengths we go to ensure building work doesn’t have a negative impact on them and we are thrilled to have won this national competition.”
Mark Kearney, Operations Director at Keepmoat, said: “Our work within the community is more than just bricks and mortar and this project has demonstrated that. To win this competition is testament to all the hard work that everyone has put in and demonstrates what can be achieved when communities work together. This has really put Chester-le-Street on the map and I think everyone should be proud of their achievements.”
Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the CCS, comments: “The standard was extremely high this year and we were delighted that so many schools, children and organisations participated so enthusiastically. As well as being a great opportunity to promote site safety, it’s also about encouraging the next generation to become interested in construction. Contractors are taking the time to promote site safety to local children while showing them the benefits of working in construction.”
The £6.5m Elms development is expected to be completed in spring 2015 and will provide 57 new homes for the over 55s. The scheme lies south west of the town centre on the Garden Farm Estate and includes 47 two-bedroom apartments, 4 one-bedroom apartments, 2 two-bedroom detached bungalows and 4 two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows available for rent, or sale on a leasehold or shared ownership basis.
When complete, the scheme will also include a range of communal residential and support spaces within the main block and facilities that can be used by residents and the wider community including a beauty/treatment room, IT suite, internet café, laundry, community allotment and office/community exhibition space.