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Gardening projects part of 'putting back into the community' for housing estates' regeneration

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 June 2018

Chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert watching over the council's director of neighbourhoods Steve Moore preparing the ground for a new vegetable planter at Will Perrin Court in Rainham. Picture: Havering Council

Chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert watching over the council's director of neighbourhoods Steve Moore preparing the ground for a new vegetable planter at Will Perrin Court in Rainham. Picture: Havering Council

Havering Council

Council officers rolled up their sleeves and got stuck into gardening, building flower beds and vegetable patches at a number of housing estates in the borough.

Chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert (right) and director of neighbourhoods Steve Moore carry one of the railway sleepers that will make the raised vegetable bed at Will Perrin Court, Rainham. Picture: Havering CouncilChief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert (right) and director of neighbourhoods Steve Moore carry one of the railway sleepers that will make the raised vegetable bed at Will Perrin Court, Rainham. Picture: Havering Council

Havering Council’s chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert and director of neighbourhoods Steve Moore, were joined by a team from Wates Residential - the council’s partner for the regeneration of 12 estates - as a number of housing schemes reaped the benefits of a major week-long volunteering event.

The joint venture between Wates Residential and Havering Council, which will see around 3,000 homes built on sites across the borough over the next 12 years, was announced in March.

More than 30 staff from Wates Residential swapped their day jobs to spend time volunteering to support residents in Havering as part of the company’s Reshaping Tomorrow Week.

Managing director Paul Nicholls said: “We strongly believe that we have a role to play in supporting local communities so it is fantastic to be able to give something back to Havering.

“We know our staff all found this a hugely rewarding experience and are looking forward to investing further in local facilities for residents as we deliver more than 3,000 much-needed new homes over the next 12 years.”

Three flower beds and three raised vegetable patches were built and planted at six locations across the borough, including at sheltered schemes, temporary accommodation facilities and homeless hostels.

A team from Wates Residential also ran a “lunch and learn” session for a group of residents to help bridge the skills gap and encourage more people to get back into work through employment in the construction industry.

The activities are part of Wates Residential’s wider pledge to deliver a lasting legacy for the community.

Commitments include a comprehensive programme of community initiatives and commitments to the wider borough, from the creation of a new Construction Academy to school curriculum support and the delivery of around 165 apprenticeships.

The council’s chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert said: “This project is just a small example of the social value our development partner is putting back into the local community.

“The commitment of Wates Residential to this type of work was one of the strengths of their bid to be our joint venture partner.”

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