Little gardeners help transform their environment

8 August 2016

Youngsters have been using the power of flowers to bring a summer colour feel to the gardens of a temporary housing complex in Newark.

Sevenhillsgardeners1 

With the school holidays in full swing, the little gang of gardeners – who currently don’t have a permanent home - went into action as part of a programme of activities to help keep them amused and brighten up their environment.

With bedding plants and watering cans donated by the Newark branch of Homebase and the town’s Devon Croft Nursery, the youngsters – aided by expert help from Homebase staff - spent a good few hours of their day digging and planting at Sevenhills, which lies off Lincoln Road.

The gardening idea was designed to encourage residents to work together and help them take some responsibility and care for where they live, as well as teaching relevant skills before they move on.

The children and their parents were so pleased with how the planting session went that they threw a surprise ‘thank-you’ party for housing officers in the community centre – again working together to make party food before enjoying music and games, which again they thoroughly enjoyed.

The activities programme is part of the role of tenancy support officer, Lisa Winter, who has been in place for nearly two years.

The Housing Options team at Newark and Sherwood District Council, which runs Sevenhills, works to support the residents in creating a place of positive change rather than just somewhere people come and go from when homeless.

Lisa said: "The donations have enabled us to provide a fun and educational programme of activities for children who are residing in temporary accommodation. The gardening activity has created a brighter and happier site for both current and future residents and this project will promote resident engagement and learning.

"Residents have said that this programme of activities has been very helpful and enabled their children to integrate with others to create a community feeling here. Residents now regularly help each other out and support each other. With the help of our local community, Sevenhills is now genuinely a place of positive change for those who are facing the difficult reality of homelessness. We have been truly surprised and grateful for all of the donations received and the residents are now very much looking forward to the end of summer party."

Other activities in the programme include a treasure hunt and Olympics sports day. Donations for these have been received from Lincolnshire Co-op’s The Bridge Food Store, Bakkavor, Yorkshire Trading Company and CJ’s Coffee House, with yet more to come in.

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