Volunteers give makeover to Alf Lowne Court in Grays

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THE garden of Alf Lowne Court, a scheme offering sheltered accommodation in Thurrock has been given a major makeover by a team of volunteers from the Wates Group as part of the business’ nationwide ‘Reshaping Tomorrow’ week.

The project, nominated by Alf Lowne Court residents, welcomed six volunteers from Wates Living Space, who took time out of their day jobs to renovate the garden.

Joined by five helpers from Thurrock Council, the Wates team undertook a range of landscaping activities. The volunteers trimmed and pruned shrubs and trees, installed a picket fence and gate to house chickens, installed gravel boards and wooden log fences, as well as painting the fence panels and bench.

The project marked the launch of the Wates Sheltered Housing Improvement Project (SHIP). SHIP is a community initiative partnership that will see Wates invest £10,000 in undertaking repair works at similar schemes across the borough, with the council identifying the properties that will most benefit from Wates’ assistance.

The renovation took place over two days, and was aided by the donation of £250 worth of materials by Travis Perkins, a supply chain partner on the project.

Wates has a long standing history of delivering works in Thurrock, working with the council since 2013 to deliver planned maintenance works across its tenanted and voice properties as part the council’s Transforming Homes Capital Works programme. The works comprise kitchen and bathroom replacements, electrical upgrades, boiler replacements, external door replacements and window repairs.

The volunteer project formed part of the Wates Group’s ‘Reshaping Tomorrow’ week, a national programme that involved the business’ 4,000 employees donating their time to help local good causes.

Equating to a nationwide resource of approximately £1.6m, the Wates Group’s volunteering efforts saw the business carry out over 100 local projects across the country to fulfil its commitment to help communities, protect the environment and enhance sustainability.

The annual initiative is supported by the Wates Family Enterprise Trust through its charitable grant programme, Wates Giving, which supports over 250 initiatives a year and has donated over £10m to charitable activities since it launched in 2008.

Rachel Woolliscroft, Sustainability Director at the Wates Group, commented:

“Every year our teams’ endeavours become more and more ambitious as they seek to find new ways to help their neighbours. Reshaping Tomorrow week is an invaluable initiative through which we can ensure that our work supports communities, enhances environmental and economic sustainability, and ultimately improves the lives of local people.

“The genuine altruism of our teams is the cornerstone of Wates’ culture as a family business and putting aside our time for Reshaping Tomorrow week is an excellent way to take stock of what we can achieve when we all work together to help others.”

John Knight, Head of Housing at Thurrock Council, added:

“It was a real pleasure to be at Alf Lowne Court and see the team from Wates, including senior managers, working hard to improve the environment of some of our elderly and vulnerable tenants.

“The Sheltered Housing Improvement Project is a great example of the commitment to social value that Wates have consistently shown as a partner of Thurrock Council.

“This project will leave a real legacy of improved amenities, gardens and other communal areas brought into full use, and an overall improved look and feel for our sheltered accommodation. A very positive contribution by Wates to life in Thurrock.”

David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space, said:

“The teamwork on show during the renovation of Alf Lowne Court’s garden is a testament to the strong relationship we have developed with Thurrock Council. We look forward to enhancing our partnership further as we work on SHIP together, improving sheltered schemes across the borough while leaving a lasting legacy.”

‘Reshaping Tomorrow’ is the Wates Group’s framework for sustainability and centres around five core commitments; to support people, communities, buildings, footprint and behaviours.

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