The ‘Community Action Team’ is soon to become a brand new project for ROC, and is being pioneered in Blackpool in the North-West of England.
In its simplest form, the purpose of the Community Action Team (or CAT for short) is “to empower residents with overgrown gardens”. It is commonly found that an overgrown garden is only a symptom of other issues that a resident needs help. CAT intends to come alongside these residents, breakdown social barriers, provide a charitable service that is free of charge (saving residents sometimes up to £2,500!), and helps to make important friendships and connections to help the resident beyond the overgrown garden.
CAT primarily receives referrals from Blackpool Coastal Housing who manage the Council’s Housing stock and works with local volunteers from across the town, including those from local churches, to support residents who need help bringing their garden back to a manageable level. As overgrown a garden as you can imagine, this incredible volunteer team will be able to blitz it, working alongside the resident, in just one 4-hour project day!
The team originated from Valley Church in Preston in 2009, and the project was later adopted by Blackpool Coastal Housing to be developed right across the town of Blackpool in 2013. Now in 2016 ROC have been invited by the Housing Association to help take this project to the next level and to help increase its success in reaching residents who struggle with their garden.
ROC and Blackpool Coastal Housing are in the process of forming a new and exciting partnership together to help support the community through this project and make a real difference in the lives of local residents.
James Baker is the lead on this project and (as of last week) is part of the ROC Regional Coordinator Team. He is helping to draw together both the community and local churches from across the town to help partner in this inspiring project.
James is currently securing local funding through a number of different sources in order to help fully equip the team and to provide essential staff to help the work develop further.