Discussion took place with staff at Hedworth Detached Youth Project to explore the possibility of young people becoming involved in the project. After a couple of meetings between residents and staff, a group of young people met with the Residents Association expressing their interest in becoming involved in improving the community garden.
Hedworth is in Jarrow, South Tyneside and has a population of approximately 3,000. It is in the ‘top 10′ most deprived neighbourhoods (Index of Multiple Deprivation). Neighbourhood consultation and engagement started in 2006, and an action plan was developed and a multi-agency partnership subsequently established. Hedworth Residents Association has been active for approximately 10 years.
The community bungalow and garden has been a dedicated community space since 1960’s. Current uses include Hedworth Residents Association, Ward Councillor surgeries, ladies bingo groups, a mini-hub for community consultations, and community events. Funding for the maintainence of the community garden ran out and improvements were continued by one of the residents. In 2009, this stopped and no one looked after the garden.
Sessions were organised to carry out some work to improve the community garden. Some activities involved both the association and the youth project, while other activities were carried out by the youth project independently.
Plans for the future included:
The project was a huge success with vast improvements to a neglected piece of land improving the local streetscape and volunteers from the resident’s association and the youth project carrying out the work. Other benefits from the project included:
A small grant of £750 was provided by the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP), South Tyneside Council provided support from a community development worker and youth workers, and South Tyneside Homes provided support from a housing officer.
Hedworth Resident’s Association was approached in early 2010 to pilot the Brighter Futures Together toolkit. A series of meetings took place to discuss the toolkit and decide on which project to focus on, as well as the additional discussions between the resident’s association and the youth project. Activity started during the summer and ended at the start of winter in 2010.
For further information about this project, please contact Mike Linsley, Assistant Head of Neighbourhoods at South Tyneside Council.
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