Five community gardens in Preston, Darwen and Accrington have been awarded a North West in Bloom award.

North West in Bloom is an annual competition that comes under the umbrella of the National Britain in Bloom competition, where areas are judged by horticultural and environmental experts. The judges access the competing areas on three key elements: horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.

At a prestigious awards ceremony at Southport Theatre and Convention centre, residents of five supported living schemes received the following awards:

  • Level1 Establishing: Vicarage Court, Darwen
  • Level 2 Improving: Birch hall, Darwen and Plantation Cottage, Accrington
  • Level 3 Developing: Walton’s Parade, Preston
  • Level 4 Thriving: Pendle View, Accrington

All five schemes were judged alongside gardens throughout Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Tenants living in the properties owned by Lancashire-based housing provider, Progress Housing Group, got together to create the award-wining gardens as part of the housing group’s health and wellbeing initiative to support residents to stay healthy and active through gardening and food growing.

“We are delighted to have won these awards; it is all down to the commitment of the tenants who have worked so hard to create community spaces that everyone can enjoy.” Bernie Keenan, Executive Director of Housing, Community and Support Services at Progress Housing Group

Beverly Staveley a project worker from Creative Support at Walton’s Parade in Preston said: “The tenants are all excited about receiving their North West in Bloom award. They have all really enjoyed helping out in the garden, learning new skills and finding out about the different vegetables they have planted.”

Progress Housing Group supported living tenant, Clare Cowell said: "Being involved with the garden has been brilliant and has brought us together as a community too.

"Being able to use the garden makes me feel happy and is a good place to meet and talk to people when I'm feeling down.

“I am looking forward to working together again over the coming year and look forward to see what we can achieve next year.”

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