As the country went into lockdown, the Landscape team were clear we wanted to play our part in keeping essential services running whilst supporting our colleagues across Care Services. We know how important outdoor communal spaces are to keeping our residents fit and well, so during this period we have been doing all we can to keep them safe for people to enjoy.
Residents have also played their part by stepping in to carry out a variety of tasks showing how much they value their local surroundings. This strong partnership has made a real difference and reminded us how much hard work goes in to keeping our green spaces looking nice.
In New Earswick, residents Mr and Mrs John and Joan Willcock from Ivy Place have spent time pulling out the weeds along sleeper paths making one of the entrances to New Earswick a pleasant walk. And the garden teams ensured they went by and carried out spraying to prevent regrowth. Geoff Bunce, Chair of New Earswick Residents Forum, has reported that the grassed areas have never looked so good!
At Dower Court in York, it was fantastic to see our gardener Mike Jerome redeployed to provide essential support to our Care Services and for the work he has been doing with residents to agree new planting and mowing of the meadow to continue with the help and support of our residents Hilary and Mike and the Dower Court Garden Club. They have sent in photographs to show how they have all stepped up and kept on with weeding, buying plants and growing flowers by seed to attract the bees and wildlife to keep the gardens looking splendid.
In Derwenthorpe, new trees were planted in early Spring and any worries that they would not be tended to have disappeared as the Derwenthorpe Nature Group have been taking care of the trees.
The original intention, an idea of gardeners Adam and Stuart, was for residents in the Nature group, to have the opportunity to work with them to help look after all the trees in Derwenthorpe. But sadly, Covid19 got in the way. Nick, a local resident, Adam and Stuart the gardeners, quickly came up with the idea of organising some instructions just before the lockdown started. Nick was able to share what he and Jean, his partner, had learned with other members of the Nature Group and then everyone just got on with it.
There are fourteen residents involved with the nature group, some working as couples from the same households, and others working individually.
Wendy explained “It's worked out really well being able to do this during the lockdown as it was perfect for social distancing, as well as keeping us busy doing something useful. And Stuart from the Landscape team has been regularly delivering mulch as needed.”
At Hartfields Manor, in Hartlepool, the annual hanging baskets bring a great deal of vibrant colour to the community. This year, Mike, who normally works in York, took a break from cleaning duties to organise some socially distanced hanging baskets workshops so that residents could take part in a green activity and have some much-needed social contact in a safe way
At Danes Dyke and Keld Close residents stepped in and organised for the lawns to be mowed by a local gardener as the usual contractor had shut down for a month, ensuring a pleasant environment for the VE day celebrations.
Finally, in Scarborough at Plaxton Court, Mollie and Simon, gardeners from York, have been spending two days per week working with residents and David, the Handyperson, to make sure the gardens around Plaxton Court are well-maintained as David had his hands full with the extra indoor cleaning duties for Care services. Residents tend patches near the cottages or apartments and have also volunteered to help with watering during the recent dry spell.
We want to say a big thank you to all residents who are looking after their local communities. If you know of someone who is going above and beyond to care for your local green spaces, please let us know. Get in touch with Louise Darby, Resident Involvement Officer email: [email protected]