In our North Essex Mental Health services, staff and customers have been painting the town red (or green rather!) by participating in the Greening Communities Project to transform the communal gardens of Plowright House in Colchester.

Plowright_worksProject worker Ella Dixon, manager Carolyn Collier, staff and tenants of the service all pitched in to spruce up the previously unloved communal garden area. Tenants from Plowright House, and from our other properties in Colchester and Clacton joined us for the day to make the garden a pleasant and welcoming environment with extra seating, plants, trees and shrubs to replace our patchy grass, weeds and worn out picnic bench.

The North Essex Mental Health Services provides housing with support to people with a mental health diagnosis, some also facing addiction issues. Working closely with Colchester Borough Council and other local support networks and agencies, we provide housing related support to customers and support them on their journey towards independent living.

We were overwhelmed at having such enthusiastic customer participation, with customers from the service making their way to Plowright House for the day to pitch in. Despite the dull weather and chill in the air everyone stayed in good spirits and we were able to make a significant improvement to the garden.

With input from Carolyn, the new team manager at Plowright House, we were able to increase customer participation in the Greening Project at Plowright House from just 3% in the springtime, to 13% in November. In a scheme of this type it can be difficult to get customers involved, so this is a really positive improvement.

We would like to thank the Doreen May Fund which enabled us to be able to purchase some of the much needed plants for this project.