top of page
Project-supported.png
Arrow-Previous.png
Photo-frame-wide.png
Arrow-Next.png

Jools Symons @ Riviera Gardens

Money.png

Funding awarded - £500

question.png

Bench and gazebo

people.png

67 households

AT A GLANCE:

Funding for a bench and gazebo in a shared residential green space to enable more opportunities for neighbours to gather together in all weathers.

 

WHY WAS THE PURPOSE?

There is a green at the bottom of the cul-de-sac in Riviera Gardens. Residents wanted to use the green more as an outdoor space to gather, socialise and hold events. Having a bench and a gazebo on the green would provide a place to sit and shelter and help residents to do more socialising together. There are 67 households on Riveria Gardens with a wide age range from new borns to late 90s. People are from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds, both home owners and renters. Everyone is welcomed. Residents have held events before for the street to get together, e.g. Living advent calendar and celebration. Having a bench and shelter will encourage them to do even more together.

WHAT DID IT DO?

The bench will be a permanent fixture (fixed to the ground) and the gazebo will be used as and when needed. The plan is to hold various events on the green e.g. Jo Cox big get together, Christmas party, birthday parties, summer picnic, children's activities. They will have a session to show people how to put the gazebo up and down.

WHAT DIFFERENCE DID IT MAKE?

Getting to know your neighbours is key to good mental health, combating loneliness and supporting each other. The events have helped us all to make new friends, tell stories about the local area, skill swap, offer support to each other and have fun. People will sit quietly on the bench or have a chat - it has already promoted more chatting amongst people. Having a safe place to sit and contemplate and meet are really important. Having the focus of the Hey Neighbour grant has given has residents a new purpose and motivated them to work together - develop new connections and improve friendships and exchange and share ideas and resources.

"l have loved being involved in Hey Neighbour ... the staff have been friendly and helpful ...Hey Neighbour is brilliant! Thank you ...this is just the start... we have big plans for the future!"

DID THE GRANT PAY FOR?

A large gazebo with sides cost £240. A solid metal ex-park bench cost £250. A plastic box for storage cost £10.

NEXT STEPS

We have plans for lots of activities including jubilee celebration, Great Get Together, kids activities e.g. a local resident will teach gardening skills to kids, chalking activities for kids. We will continue to build on and make more connections with other organisations and groups.

 

We plan to raise funds for plants and bulbs to make the area prettier than just grass. We also plan to apply for a little library and set up a toy exchange as there are lots of children on the street. We aim to do this in an eco -friendly way. We will use the bench for meetings e.g. to discuss planning permission, security, safety issues.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN?

Having a wider vision and thinking more broadly about how the gazebo can benefit more people beyond Riveria Gardens. Sharing resources via connections and partnerships helps brings best value and best use of community assets. Seek out opportunities to share people's skills and assets via conversations e.g. offering advice. Having the Hey Neighbour funding as a focal point for action has really helped.

BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOUR MEANS:

"Knowing and caring about my neighbours, having a chat on the street or in the garden. Taking in parcels, lending and borrowing things. Looking out for each other's children. Shopping for the older residents, walking each other's dogs, house sitting. Sharing advice, reliable trades people and equipment. Being part of a diverse and inclusive community, creating a safe space for all, looking after our environment....looking beyond my own garden gate and being there for others!"

bottom of page