Our Houndshill development in Blackpool has recently proved to us that our goal, to not only work towards the completion of a building itself, but rather towards the whole of the community, is the right approach to achieving the lasting impact that our company is all about.
After an unfortunate event last year, when the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living (BCIL) that supports the local disabled communities was broken into, its woodworking team was left without any tools to continue their amazing work creating items including wooden planters and bird houses to be installed in community spaces. As news of the theft came to light, Blackpool Council reached out for donations of individual pieces of equipment that would support the centre’s passionate volunteers.
When GRAHAM, the lead contractor for Phase 2 of the ongoing Houndshill regeneration project, decided to replace more than 100 pieces of equipment stolen from Blackpool Centre for Independent Living in a donation that replaced all the stolen items, they could not imagine the impact this would have on the team’s wellbeing, whose woodworking shed has been such an instrumental part of their life.
Celebrating our continued partnership on Tuesday 16th May the GRAHAM team, along with the members of the Blackpool Council, could try with their own hands the tremendous progress the BCIL volunteers have made in their woodworking knowledge and in achieving the goals of their projects.
Neil Froggett, the New Langdale Service Coordinator, said:
“After the truly amazing tool donation given by GRAHAM last year, The New Langdale’s Green Team were able to think differently about both what we can achieve, and indeed what we deliver, changing expectation and the existing service model.”
“Our ambition remains to be giving support to people with ‘Learning Disabilities’, providing opportunities for them to contribute towards improving wellbeing for themselves and many others within the town.”
After the donation, their capacity has increased, expanding their future goals which has resulted in the Pledge project with Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH). The BCIL’s Green Team will aim to build 100 window and garden boxes that will be handed over to the local residents applying to the BCH Pledge Scheme. The Pledge will see the recipients of the plant boxes receive a second box for those in their immediate neighbourhood, that don’t have the opportunity to look after it themselves. Those who sign up to the pledge will plant up, water and maintain one of the boxes on the recipient’s behalf.
The pledge will not only adorn the neighbourhoods with vibrant flowers, but also improve social inclusion, health and wellbeing within the Blackpool community, as it promotes building relationships between those who can care for the planters and those who have them cared for. By supporting and rewarding such acts of kindness, this project will contribute to the community cohesion and break stigma and isolation.
Neil Froggett added:
“We would like to extend our thanks to Paul, Conor and Sam from Branniff Joinery LTD whose donation of wood and time spent with the team developing a number of tailored wooden bird box and planter templates made the GRAHAM and The New Langdale partnership event possible.”
The outcome of our work in Blackpool has contributed to the community event before the completion of the Houndshill development, presently at its phase two development. The project is one of many that will help regenerate the Blackpool town centre.
The Council acquired the Houndshill Shopping Centre in for £47.6m in November 2019 as part of its long-term strategy to revitalise the town centre. The phase two extension will also include two restaurants totalling 3,760 sq ft that will be delivered to shell specification. The Council is in talks with potential leisure operators for these units and remains open to all enquiries.