An award-winning team of young people who’ve experienced homelessness has volunteered with older residents to give their independent living scheme’s garden a makeover.
Young people from SASH, a charity which helps provide younger people with stable accommodation, and City of York Council staff, work together on projects which benefit older people who, in turn, share their skills with younger team members.
During August, the Enable team transformed a tired piece of grass at the front entrance to Glen Lodge, the council’s independent living scheme with extra care in Heworth. The team stripped away the overgrown turf and turned the plot into a colourful flower bed with lots of pollinating plants. It’s not only good for bees: the new garden gives the scheme a splash of extra colour and will hopefully be well-used by residents.
While the team worked, residents kept popping out to check on progress, bringing them hot and cold drinks as well as sharing their gardening knowledge with the young people.
These and other young volunteers give their time to help older people in York who struggle with jobs around the home and garden. In return they have been learning new skills which will help them when they move in to a place of their own.
Sheila Makin, one of Glen Lodge’s residents said: “It looks really lovely: it’s transformed the place.”
Liz Bratley, another Glen Lodge resident said: “It’s lovely to see young people being involved and being creative and constructive. The entrance will brighten up any dark day.”
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “For Enable to complete its 25th project in five years is certainly something to celebrate. It’s very fitting this has been marked with an inter-generational project also involving residents of Glen Lodge. This has provided valuable experience for young people who’ve struggled with homelessness and has also created a lasting improvement in quality of life for Glen Lodge residents.”
Gary Hogg, SASH Active Project Coordinator, said: “Part of our remit is to help young people prepare for the responsibilities of having their own home. Through the five years of Enable projects, dozens of young people have benefited from the scheme and used the skills they’ve learned to help maintain their own tenancies.”