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Growing Grants boost for local communities
A Stafford-based housing association has launched a new grant scheme, with £1,000 set aside to help customers improve the environment around their homes.
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To mark the start of the housing sector’s Community Impact Week, Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging people to get out in the fresh air and improve their health with a spot of gardening.
The area’s leading provider of affordable homes is offering two ‘Growing Grants’ – worth £500 each – for projects that could transform an unloved plot of land into a communal garden, a haven for wildlife or a space to grow fresh vegetables.
Laura Turner, Customer Engagement Advisor at SARH, explained: “We’re wide open to ideas and we want to hear from any customers – or voluntary groups in the areas we serve – with a plan to use their green fingers to the benefit of their community.”
The initiative follows the success of a popular annual gardens competition, organised by SARH. Commercial sponsorship raised as part of the competition – including a donation by one of the housing association’s construction partners, Jessup Brothers – is being used to fund the latest initiative that looks set to create even more award-winning spaces.
“We know that a spot of gardening can really help people to improve their physical and mental health by offering them exercise and a chance to meet up with neighbours whilst doing something that will make their neighbourhood an even better place to live,” Laura said.
“The Growing Grants also sit really well with our existing ‘Growing Health’ project which has seen a number of disused plots of land transformed into thriving community allotments.”
The launch of the grants is just one of a number of activities by SARH to mark the National Housing Federation’s Community Impact Week, which aims to showcase the way housing associations across the UK improve the lives of people living in the cities, towns and villages they operate in.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive added: “The most successful projects are the ones where people take it upon themselves to improve the areas where they live and we’re delighted to be able to support them through the Growing Grants.
“Community Impact Week also enables us to showcase the difference we are making in Stafford and surrounding areas and our commitment to making every contact with customers and the community count.”
To find out how to apply for a grant, visit www.sarh.co.uk/growinggrant