This project identifies two needs which can be resolved in a mutually beneficial way. Firstly, in St Austell and the surrounding area, there are several overgrown or unmaintained sites that need some work to rejuvenate them so that they are safer and more accessible. By clearing these up, the local community will be able to enjoy and appreciate their environment more fully. Secondly, the residents of our supported accommodation properties often are dealing with poor mental health, so need opportunities to help them engage with the world in a meaningful way. The tangible impact of this project will encourage a sense of fulfilment in our residents, which can be hard to accomplish.
Our Volunteer and Activity Coordinator, alongside other staff, will be taking groups of residents from our supported accommodation properties to do maintenance and gardening works in the local community. To ensure these community action days are completed to the best standard possible, we will need to upgrade and acquire essential equipment. Some examples of what the funding will be spent on include, gardening tools, safety gear and painting equipment. This active participation in the community will help promote social inclusion and encourage positive relationships to develop mental wellbeing. Simultaneously, the local area will be helped to reach its potential.
We are best placed to deliver this as we have previous experience doing similar projects. For example, in St Austell we cleared the River Walk, as it was so overgrown and littered the people who lived along it did not feel safe walking it at night. We also cleared the Globe Yard in St Austell making it more accessible and useable. We helped with the bus shelter rejuvenation in St Blazey, painting them to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. We also have our own vans to transport volunteers and tools, so we would not have to rely on external companies. We would like to develop these sorts of initiatives further and on a more consistent basis, so we can make a real difference.
|Paint tray liners
|Large reusable garden waste bags
|Rubbish bag hoops
|High vis vests
|Trimmer spool and line
The expected impact of this project will be on multiple levels. Firstly, in a wider sense, this project will help to bolster community cohesion and pride through the revitalisation of places that need it. This project will increase access and safety at various sites throughout the community, as well as improving and emphasising the aesthetic value of the local area. Additionally, at an individual level, this project will give our residents opportunities to develop key skills that not only help in their journey towards independent living, but also to provide practical ways of easing some of the mental pressures that many of our residents deal with daily. The sense of purpose and achievement that this project will foster, allows for lasting benefits including increased motivation to participate in and engage with other similar activities.
We have previously consulted with the St Austell Business Improvement District to identify areas that need maintenance, including projects like the covering up of graffiti on local shops and clearing up the Globe Yard. The River Walk in St Austell was so overgrown that people who lived along it felt unsafe walking it at night. We spent a day clearing it of litter and cutting everything back, so that it was more accessible and safer. Another project we recently were involved in was the painting of bus shelters in St Blazey. About this project, a local councillor said, “I’d have liked to have seen more community involvement, but people tell me they’re busy so without the help of the residents at Harbour Housing, we’d have been stuck.” This shows not only our ability and reliability in these types of projects, but also that there is a lack of willing participants that we, through this initiative, will help to rectify.