Seven families settle into Stanley Grove
Published by Kerrie Beck for Longhurst Group in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
New tenants, guests and staff from Friendship Care and Housing gathered yesterday (Monday 18th August) to celebrate the opening of seven newly refurbished homes on Stanley Grove, Sparkbrook.
This £450k refurbishment programme has transformed seven unusable properties, creating attractive, bright and spacious two bedroom homes. A strip of land adjacent to the properties has also been transformed. What was once an overgrown area riddled with building materials and rubbish and attracted vermin, is now a beautifully landscaped communal garden, boasting hardwood benches and pergolas, and is ideal for the new families to take advantage of all year round.
Friendship’s Managing Director Jonathan Driffill welcomed guests to the opening event of Stanley Grove in the new garden; “This refurbishment demonstrates Friendship’s on-going commitment to our communities and to bringing empty homes back into use. I am incredibly proud of this fantastic regeneration project. No one wanted to live in these properties before the transformation but thanks to the great efforts of Architect John Zabawa, contractors D & F Kirrane Ltd, and Friendship and Longhurst Group staff, seven families now have beautiful new homes here in Sparkbrook.”
Previously, the properties had three small bedrooms. However, following the refurbishment, which took place between April 2014 and August 2014, the homes now take better advantage of the space available, with a new bathroom and two large bedrooms located upstairs, and a utility room, kitchen and living/dining room on the ground floor. The official handover of the properties will take place later this week, at which point the new tenants will be able to move in.
The new residents gathered eagerly to view their new homes and to meet Friendship staff. “This is the first time I have seen my new home! I applied for a property almost two months ago,” said Adey, a new tenant to Stanley Grove. “Now that I am here and I have seen the house and the lovely garden, I can really picture myself making this our home for my two children- I just can’t wait to start making my home truly mine!”
The communal garden is a huge hit with the new families too. “The properties are set back from the road and the garden is private to the Grove. It’s the perfect place for my children to play safely with the other kids who will be living here,” said Salma, who will be moving in with her husband and two children. “My daughter wants a playhouse, and now she’ll definitely be able to have one!”
The event provided the new residents with a great opportunity to meet each other. “Everybody is so friendly,” said Zaheen. “It will be lovely getting to know our neighbours.”
“We all want the same thing,” said Fazal, who will be moving into Stanley Grove with his wife and son. “We want a safe place for our families and a roof above our heads; living here with such lovely neighbours will be wonderful.”
“Friendship will continue to invest in our local communities and provide quality homes and services to our customers,” said Jonathan, before inviting Friendship’s Chair Ernie Hendricks and board member Pearl McCauley surrounded by the new residents to cut a ceremonial ribbon in the new garden. “It’s fantastic to meet our new customers, to welcome them to Friendship and we wish them all the best and every happiness for the future.”