Blooming marvellous funding award for Colchester gardeners

Mayor of Brightlingsea Councillor Ben Smith with SSL deputy local service manager, Sophie Allen
Mayor of Brightlingsea Councillor Ben Smith with SSL deputy local service manager, Sophie Allen

A supported housing scheme for homeless people in Colchester has sown seeds of success after receiving a funding boost towards its communal garden.

Queen Elizabeth Way

Queen Elizabeth Way, owned and managed by Sanctuary Supported Living (SSL), received the £500 grant from local charity Grassroots which will go towards a pergola and colourful plants for the garden.

Garden revamp

An extensive makeover has already seen a range of features put in by a green-fingered group of residents and staff. These include a sensory space, accessible raised beds, a quiet zone and a wildlife pond, as well as an area for children to cater for the two parent and baby flats located at the scheme.

Ready Steady Grow

Once completed, the green space will form Queen Elizabeth Way’s entry to SSL’s Ready Steady Grow competition, a contest to find the best gardens at supported housing and retirement living facilities around the country.

“A wealth of effort”

SSL project worker Chelsea Collingridge, who works closely with the resident gardeners, said: “The team have put a wealth of effort into the project and it really shows. We can’t wait for the pergola to be fitted, it’s sure to provide another eye-catching feature to the garden.

“We also hope that the space will help to promote mental wellbeing, both through the sensory area, where there will be time for quiet reflection, and through the physical activity in maintaining the garden.”

“Lots of benefits”

Sue Hawes from Grassroots added: “We were delighted to offer Queen Elizabeth Way the funding award for their garden project. I’m sure it will bring lots of benefits to resident and staff alike, and I wish them the best of luck for the Ready Steady Grow competition.”

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