This is the story of how a team from our Cadent family helped a community allotment project achieve in less than three days what it had only dreamed to achieve over the next two years.
Woodhouse Community Garden Project
, part of Woodhouse and District Community Forum, is a space for people to sow, grow and harvest crops, promoting healthy lifestyles and positive wellbeing, and learning new skills.
An absolute hive of activity, it is used by people from lots of different backgrounds, including Scouts, people with disabilities, and young offenders. Activities take place throughout the week.
Volunteer-led, the project in Sheffield occupies a large section of an allotment site – which includes 20 planting beds, a wildlife area, fruit trees, a 15ft by 40ft polytunnel and many, many more facilities.
It had aims, over the next couple of years, to make the site more accessible. The existing footpath stopped halfway through the plot, for example, and areas were overgrown. Too much work for the volunteers alone.
This is where Cadent and our extended family came in.
We’re carrying our substantial works in the local area, upgrading our gas mains. Our East Midlands Investment Planning Office, were looking for a community project to support.
They contacted the team at Woodhouse Community Garden Project and realised they had the machinery, skills and complete determination to make a massive difference to the project.
Enlisting the help of Network Plus (our Contract Management Organisation for East Midlands) and two of our local delivery partners (CS Pipetech and Cherbind), a plan was hatched and delivered.
Over three days recently, the team installed a new tarmac drive, extended the path to cover the full length of the allotment, put in borders, cleared overgrown areas, sank a bath into the ground to create a pond, plus lots more work.
“I can’t praise them enough,” said Rosemary Rabjohn, community garden manager. “They were just fabulous, mind-blowing. They did things in two to three days that were in our two to three-year plan.
“They came with their expertise and just hammered it. I think they ended up doing an awful lot more than they expected to – which was amazing.”
Posting their praise on Facebook, responses from supporters included “looking great” and “amazing!” and “fab space for all sorts of things”.
Barney Daniels, lead delivery engineer in our East Midlands IPO, said: “We are doing a large scheme in the area, which will see us here for around a year.
“When you spend that amount of time in an area, you become part of the community. You want to give something back.
“Woodhouse Community Garden Project is a really nice, welcoming place. We could see we could help and so had no hesitation doing so.
“What we’ve done will help people with accessibility challenges be able to enjoy the space too. I am really proud of what we all achieved.”
Special thanks to everyone in the Cadent East Midlands Investment Planning Office, our CMO Network Plus, and local delivery partners CS Pipetech and Cherbind.