Watford Community Housing volunteers help to make Abbots Langley cleaner and greener
On Thursday 14 September a group of Watford Community Housing staff spent the morning volunteering in Abbots Langley with the aim of making the area tidier and promoting biodiversity.
Throughout the morning there were groups working on communal areas and tenants’ gardens, helping to keep them tidy and well-maintained by weeding, planting, clearing moss and cutting back hedges.
Work was carried out at eight gardens belonging to Watford Community Housing tenants across Abbots Langley. Here is what one resident had to say about the volunteers’ efforts: “It’s challenging maintaining such a big garden on my own while I’m working full-time with three young children, so I really appreciate the help. After this I’m looking forward to getting on top of it and being able to manage it myself!”
There was another team putting together bird boxes and making up wildflower seed packets and planters, which were then given away to local residents at Abbots Autumn Fest on Saturday 16 September. Finally there was a team going door-to-door speaking to residents about Watford Community Housing’s commitment to biodiversity and telling them how to claim their free gifts at the community festival that following weekend.
At Abbots Autumn Fest around 130 bird boxes were given away for free to Watford Community Housing tenants, as well as the wildflower seeds and bulbs to the local community. The annual Abbots Autumn Fest, which was sponsored by Watford Community Housing, is an opportunity for local food producers, craftspeople, charities and community groups to show off their work or raise awareness for their activities.
Watford Community Housing’s event was fully funded by a range of partners. Through the Pretium Framework, building and trade supplier Travis Perkins provided the tools and bird boxes. Accuro, the housing association’s cleaning and grounds maintenance contractor, provided plants and helped with the gardening, while the bulk of the sponsorship was provided by leading Trustmark-approved energy efficiency installer and insulation provider SCIS, which is currently carrying out extensive works to improve many of Watford Community Housing’s homes. The event also had support from partners at Hertfordshire County Council and Three Rivers District Council.
Helen Town, Watford Community Housing’s Group Director of Property and Partnerships said: “As a community gateway housing association, it is so important to us to support thriving local communities and we are proud to have been able to put on an event that focused on improving biodiversity.
“By giving Abbots Langley residents bird boxes and wildflower seeds it allows them to create their own flourishing habitats for wildlife and improve the biodiversity of their neighbourhood through their own gardens.
“Together with our partners, we made a massive difference for the local community in just a few short hours.”
Jessica John, Director of Framework Partnerships for Pretium Frameworks said: “Social Value is built into the Materials Supply and Managed Services framework, enabling all partners to give back to the communities in which they work. We’re delighted to have been able to play a part in supporting Watford Community Housing, the Contracting Authority for the framework, with the delivery of this project.”
Nicolas Gillanders, CEO of SCIS, commented: “It was a privilege to support Watford Community Housing Group’s remarkable contributions to creating greener community spaces, beyond our joint projects that are well underway to improve the energy efficiency of local community housing.
“More and more, people are looking for solutions that can improve their living conditions and wellbeing, without negatively impacting the environment, and this is a prime example of this in action.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the positive, longer-term impacts of our collective work to rejuvenate local community homes and urban spaces, for the benefit of people and planet.”