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short walk round the corner to Trinity and Hancocke House gives us
a chance to stretch our legs.
Residents from a number of the 24 flats have requested food
growing opportunities in the back garden of their flats, but due to
the gardens having open access there are concerns about anti-social
behaviour and vandalism if raised beds are put in - some residents
have already experienced clothes going missing from washing lines
and reported gangs hanging around.
Groundwork is now working with residents to apply for funding to
erect fencing that is attractive and secure to provide a garden
area for both houses. If the fencing bid is successful residents
will then begin food growing. In the meantime a planter has been
put at the front of 1-6 Trinity House to offer a growing space to
the three households there which have expressed an interest in food
growing and they are also being provided with gloves and tools to
manage the planter. When we arrive we find an enterprising resident
has already stocked up the planter with veg.
Each of the houses has two entrances with porch areas, both of
which were looking very run down. Groundwork has supported repairs
and a repaint to all four porches, and local children have created
designs that will be added to the painted areas. Ornamental and
vegetable plants are being grown in the current brick planters and
trellises that cover the outside of the porches. The bike
sheds have also been fixed and renovated.
The aim of these improvements is to support residents to feel
safer, have an improved living environment, get to know their
neighbour betters, grow organic food and develop their garden
areas. Residents are already planning to hold a Big Lunch
Another short walk brings us to Southgate House to meet
green-fingered Will, a resident with a passion for gardening.
Despite some set backs, the site has been damaged on
occasion, he has transformed a dull shared space into a lush
"They'll get bored before I do" is his message to the
His enthusiasm is infectious too, he is now getting
his neighbours involved and is promoting healthier lifestyles -
"Dig it, grow it, eat it. It ticks all the boxes" he tells
We'll leave Will to his well earned cup of tea now and head off
to see an innovative project turning dead space into an instant