The communal garden at Coventry’s primary homeless residence has been refurbished and reopened after two years of restricted access.
The Gateway, located on Adelaide Street celebrated its new garden with a BBQ and social event, attended by residents and others involved with planning and implementing the refurb. Work included repainting fences, planting shrubbery and repainting garden furniture.
Residents have since set up a gardening group, taking it in turns to ensure the plants are watered and the garden is maintained.
Housing Support Manager at the Gateway Gail Cooper said: “The garden is already becoming a social hub for residents. Because of their involvement with the refurb, they have taken extra pride in ensuring it’s maintained and looked after. It makes a huge difference to the accommodation, adding a refreshed atmosphere.”
The garden was closed in 2020 due to safety regulations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and had remained closed for two years. The Gateway, located north of the city centre, provides accommodation and support services for men and women that find themselves displaced from housing. Residents come from all backgrounds including drug and alcohol addiction, mental health, and family breakdowns.
Gail continued: “Communal spaces are vital to delivering a safe and inclusive environment to our residents. Covid was challenging for everyone, particularly those vulnerable with poor mental and physical health. The loss of this outdoor space meant residents were often left feeling isolated and cooped up inside, so to have it refurbished and reopened is huge boost for Gateway residents.”
Construction company, Seddon, worked with Citizen to refurbish the garden. Leading on the project, Seddon sourced materials and provided people from its painting division to work alongside other Seddon, Citizen and Gateway staff, as well as residents to bring the garden to fruition.
Seddon and Citizen recently completed a refurb of the Gateway building, comprising the transformation of 16 rooms into single occupancy living spaces. A further two properties were added into the project, bringing the total to 18 new dwellings. Other works included a new manager’s office, new laundry room, gym, and shop areas all of which were on the ground floor.
Rob Moore - Business Unit Director at Seddon said: “It’s been great to see this project progress. We care greatly about creating places that add value to the communities that they serve and the garden at the Gateway is a great example of this. Our teams enjoyed working alongside the residents and hearing their stories. Completing a refurb is always rewarding but getting to know the end users and helping to make it a home for them makes it even more worthwhile.”
Seddon is currently working with Citizen on a number of projects across the Midlands. The partnership has grown significantly since 2018, culminating in a £30m relationship for Seddon.