Community Support for Green-Fingered Residents

As we previously reported, SBS has been appointed onto the Environmental Works framework for First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO).

Work on our first phase is now complete but, over the early summer, SBS has been helping out with an additional project that has been designed to benefit the local community at the Holly Estate in Royton.

Local residents had long enjoyed working in their own community garden, despite its relatively rudimentary nature. They had built it themselves on a very limited budget, so fences were made from wooden pallets and many of the other materials - such as furniture and planters - had been donated by local people. Nevertheless, it was a popular focal point and it meant a great deal to many of them.

Then, in late 2017, the garden was vandalised, upsetting many residents and damaging much of their hard work. Recognising the importance of the garden, FCHO therefore asked SBS and other stakeholders to assist with its refurbishment. Naturally, we were happy to oblige.

In recent weeks, SBS re-fenced the garden area and installed new rubber pathways. Staff created a flagged central area, a new pergola, and new planter areas for the residents to grow their own plants and vegetables. The team also installed new seating and archways.

The project was recently finished and, on 28th June, residents celebrated with a special opening event, attended by the recently appointed local mayor, Cllr Javid Iqbal.

SBS staff were on hand to take part and answer questions. SBS Senior Business Development Manager Robin Evans said: "I have to say that it was a very inspiring event in terms of seeing just how much this small community garden meant to the local residents. They seemed delighted and very impressed.  One resident told me that it had literally transformed a couple of the residents' lives, improving their health by getting them out and about more."

Speaking at the event, FCHO project officer Wayne Shorrocks said: "The Richmond Community Garden is regarded as a great achievement by all those that have taken part in its procurement, development and construction. Well done SBS."

For more details about how we seek to enhance the social impacts of our clients' schemes, please see our Adding Value page.

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