For many years the Housing Executive (HE) has been working with residents in Strathfoyle to promote community spirit in their estate on the outskirts of Derry.
Aside from tending to green areas and trees, the local HE office and grounds maintenance staff consult with residents about their surroundings to help them take pride in their area and its overall appearance by creating community gardens and flower beds.
The grounds maintenance team has been working with Enagh Youth Forum to share some gardening skills and visually enhance the area near the youth club with trees and shrubs the young people have helped to plant.
Enagh Youth Forum is very active in the area, and its youth club is a positive hub where kids of all ages can get together, learn and have fun.
Paul Hughes, youth and community development worker with Enagh Youth Forum, has worked in the local community for many years.
He worked with the HE to engage the young people to tidy up the estate and introduce plants in some green spaces.
Mr Hughes said: “Enagh Youth Forum would like to thank the Housing Executive’s grounds main- tenance team who have helped spruce up the local area this summer.
“The young people really enjoyed helping to plant the community garden at Parkmore Drive, and it was great to get the Tiny Tots Community Play Group involved too, who helped re-plant the shrub beds at Clonmeen Drive.
“These projects have helped promote pride of place in the local community and is very much appreciated by the community.”
HE grounds maintenance supervisor for the area, Marty Wheeler, was is happy with the response from the young people after their planting lesson.
He said: “Gardening and outdoor maintenance is something our young people may know very little about, especially if they live in towns and cities.
“Small projects like this one in Strathfoyle not only improve the area, they provide an avenue for learning that is not usually available.
“It’s great that the children of Strathfoyle had a really positive experience planting with us.”
Concluding, Mr Wheeler said: “Grounds maintenance staff will continue to work with residents in their communities to enhance the green areas and make estates a welcoming place to live and visit.”
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