Hartlepool supported living scheme residents celebrate opening of new garden in £83,000 project

Residents of a Hartlepool supported living community have toasted the opening of a new garden.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 4:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 4:23 pm
Sheila Thompson cuts the ribbon at Burbank Court garden.
Sheila Thompson cuts the ribbon at Burbank Court garden.

A new communal garden has been created at Burbank Court as part of an £83,000 environmental improvement scheme.

Residents of the development, run by housing provider Thirteen, marked the opening of the garden and a range of other work with a tea party.

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A ribbon-cutting was carried out by Sheila Thompson, the first warden to manage Burbank Court when it opened in 1987, who is now a resident there herself.

Lorraine Jackson, Thirteen’s housing support co-ordinator who currently manages Burbank Court, said: “The new garden is just outside the main communal lounge and will be a lovely place for residents to sit and enjoy, especially during the summer months.

“It will also help people to get out and mix with each other, which will reduce social isolation and increase community spirit among the residents.”

The garden includes a hand-built pergola, trellis, seating, and new paving and planting.

A range of other improvements elsewhere on the grounds include increased residents’ parking, replacement of uneven surfaces and planting around the site.

Thirteen worked with contractor Brambledown to carry out the work and staff who completed the development returned to join the opening ceremony.

John Woods, environmental specialist with Thirteen, said the work will make Burbank Court an even more attractive, enjoyable and adaptable place to live.

He said: “Within supported living developments, some people do have mobility issues, so this type of work helps to improve access and generally upgrade the facilities on offer in the grounds.

“We involved residents and staff in the development process, asking them about the kind of facilities they wanted to see.

“The work started in December last year with the aim of having the garden up and running for people to enjoy right throughout the summer, and I’m pleased that we have completed the work in good time.”

The work was funded through Thirteen’s environmental improvement fund and is one of many projects the provider is working on at supported living schemes across the Tees Valley.

Burbank Court is a collection of five buildings providing 48 self-contained homes for people aged over 60 or who have care needs.