The Brake Farm Sheltered Housing Scheme in Crownhill is now home to new planters filled with flowers and plants thanks to Gary and Sue, residents living at the scheme and the support of The Janner Men’s Shed.
Residents at the scheme wanted to extend their gardening space by adding large planting containers alongside one side of the building, making it look neater and more appealing for all.
To kickstart the project, Gary built and added a wooden frame and placed a weed supressing ground membrane within the frame to act as the perfect environment for their new additions. The Janner Men’s Shed assisted with building the planters and were extremely helpful in allowing Gary and Sue’s ideas to come to fruition.
Gary is a member of The Janner Men’s Shed, which is part of a social inclusion and community engagement movement that realises the value of people working together on practical woodworking tasks on a regular basis and is supported by Plymouth Community Homes (PCH). Being part of the group has enabled him to make social connections and share skills and knowledge with likeminded individuals.
Despite Gary and Sue carrying out all the work on this section of the scheme themselves, and paying for everything out of their own pockets, they were struggling to pay for the gravel to finish the space.
Ryan Huws a Communities Worker at PCH reached out to a contractor for PCH to ask if they would like to contribute to the project, and Mitie confirmed they wanted to give something back to the community after carrying out work in the area on behalf of PCH.
Gary said: “I want to thank The Janner Men’s Shed for their help with the planters, and I also want to thank Mitie who gave us the decorative gravel to add beneath the planters as part of their social value contribution.
“I never planted anything until now, but I really enjoyed getting stuck in, and I love watching the plants and flowers grow outside my window.
“As I have a disability I struggle to get on my knees, so having planters has enabled me to plant as much as I can with ease.”
Sue added: “The bit of land where we added the planters was such a mess before, but now we have worked hard to do it up and our passion and hard work has paid off.
“I have lived here for seven years, and I have always loved flowers, and I am lucky now that every time I look out my window I can see blooming flowers.
“It is lovely to work together with Gary who is an excellent neighbour, and I am grateful for his help with this.”
Ryan said: “I got to know Gary through The Janner Men’s Shed and he told me how he was keen to make improvements at Brake Farm Supported Housing Scheme. He went ahead and built a number of wooden planters that now line one wall at the scheme. With the help of his neighbour, he then filled the planters with colourful and bright flowers. It’s great to see people go out of their way, go that extra mile, to make such wonderful improvements in their neighbourhood. This kind of thing is lovely to see.”
The scheme is also home to another vast section of flowers and plants, and there are even seats for residents to sit down and enjoy the peaceful space.