River Clyde Homes helps care home celebrate outdoor life

cutting the ribbon
Cutting the ribbon (from left) Charles Young, chief executive of Greenock Medical Aid Society; Ian Halliday, Bagatelle Care Home resident/past chairman of Greenock Medical Aid Society and Agnes Little, Bagatelle Court manager

Tenants and staff at an Inverclyde care home formally open a new patio garden thanks to funding from River Clyde Homes.

Bagatelle Care Home resident Ian Halliday, a former chairman of Greenock Medical Aid Society, was instrumental in forging the agreement between Inverclyde Council and the Society to build 28 sheltered housing flats in the grounds of Bagatelle Care Home.

The patio garden was delivered by the Inverclyde Community Development Trust (which provides a wide range of services and support for the people of Inverclyde from disadvantaged areas and groups) as part of the wider Firm Foundations project.

The project was funded by a mixture of monies from River Clyde Homes via the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund (PCF), Inverclyde Council’s Employability Programme and additional River Clyde Homes funding.

Louise Bacon from Community Links, which provides regeneration consultancy services for registered social landlords, scoped, designed and project managed the works which were carried out by Parklea Branching Out and trainees from the Trust.

Russell Smith, environmental and caretaking manager for River Clyde Homes, said of the project: “This has been another highly successful partnership between River Clyde Homes, The Trust, Branching Out at Parklea, Community Links and local residents to provide an environmental project that enhances their local community. The initial idea for this project came from the Bagatelle Residents and Tenants Organisation as they required additional external space for during the summer months for use by residents with varying needs. River Clyde Homes secured funding though the PCF grant and through River Clyde Homes environmental grants which has resulted in a wonderful space to grow a variety plants and vegetables and for residents to entertain in the summer months.”

The trainees are young, unemployed local residents, who are supported with a wage option for a 26 week programme of training and hands on experience.

Robert Dowds from the Trust explained: “These training programmes are put in place to assist the trainee to move on to full time employment. Our job outcomes from this programme are very high with the majority of our trainees eventually moving into full time employment after the completion of 6 months working with us. Out of the seven trainees who completed the programme, which included the works at Bagatelle Court, five of them have since secured employment.”

He added: “The boys worked very hard during their time with us and really enjoyed the interaction with some of the residents, hearing some good stories from the past. This all helps the trainee’s confidence and self-esteem in interacting with different types of communities and people.”

Agnes Little, Bagatelle Court manager, said of the garden: “The tenants are delighted with the end result and are hoping for some good weather to get out and enjoy the area. The tenants commented on how well-mannered the team were and how they always took time to answer any questions about the work progress that was thrown at them by the many inquisitive tenants. On behalf of the staff and tenants, we thank you very much for all you have done to contribute to the wellbeing of everyone who will use the patio as a place to enjoy, relax, entertain, and maybe even do some gardening.”

River Clyde Homes has secured further funding for 2017/18 for the Firm Foundations project and this phase of works will focus on environmental improvements within the Mid Auchenleck area in Port Glasgow.

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