Volunteers helping veterans’ Gateshead garden bloom - My CMS

Changing Lives’ specialist accommodation for veterans in Gateshead celebrated the opening of their new garden – just in time for summer – thanks to funding from The Gateshead Housing Company’s Sustainable Communities Fund.

Bibby House in Gateshead supports ex-service personnel with multiple and complex needs. Not only do we offer specialist veterans’ accommodation, but also ongoing support from our outreach and family workers who help those who have served in the Armed Forces readjust to civilian life and overcome any barriers they may face.

Gardening equipment, bulbs and seeds, and even a greenhouse have been purchased thanks to the funds. The project was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with the housing company’s Neighbourhood Housing Officer Janice Pooley doing the honours.

Julie Blench, Veterans Project Lead, Gateshead and Newcastle, said:

“It is thanks to Janice and her support of Bibby House Veterans Service, that we were selected to be funded for this excellent project. The idea behind this comes from our veterans wanting to have something to do in their spare time that would benefit not just Bibby House but the wider community.”

The ex-service personnel at Bibby House will enjoy the therapeutic benefits of growing vegetables, herbs and flowers. The edible items will be used in healthy eating recipes while the flowers will bring a splash of colour to the accommodation project. The residents are also planning on growing flowers in hanging baskets and planters to brighten up the local area.

The housing company’s Sustainable Communities Fund aims to improve the sustainability of estates and neighbourhoods and increase a sense of community among residents.

Janice Pooley, Neighbourhood Housing Officer said:

“We are delighted to support this project and help veterans living in Leam Lane. We look forward to seeing the results of the gardening.”

To find out more about the housing company’s Sustainable Communities Fund visit www.gatesheadhousing.co.uk/on-your-estate/sustainable-communities-fund

To find out more about Changing Lives’ services for veterans visit https://www.changing-lives.org.uk/veterans/

Pictured above, l-r: Julie Blench, Veterans Project Lead Gateshead and Newcastle, Changing Lives. Janice Pooley, Neighbourhood Housing Officer, Gateshead Council. Steve Kirk, Veterans Support Worker, Changing Lives. Claire Robinson Case Worker, SSAFA. 

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