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Heart of England 'In Bloom' Campaign
It's Your Neighbourhood Awards 2014
22/09/2014

'Outstanding' again!!!

The Heart of England In Bloom awards were presented at a ceremony at the Henley Golf Club on Wednesday, 17th September. It was attended by representatives from 109 neighbourhoods in the West Midlands area that took part in this year's campaign - with nearly 50 from the Birmingham area.

There are 5 levels of Assessment:-

Level 1

Establishing

0 - 35%

Level 2

Improving

36 - 52%

Level 3

Developing

53 - 68%

Level 4

Thriving

69 - 85%

Level 5

Outstanding

86 - 100%

The marks are awarded for:-

Community Participation - up to 40 marks

Community participation is about working together for the benefit of the local area. Groups will vary in sizes and structure but, even if there are only a couple of people that drive the project, they are engaging with other members of the community or seeking ways to do this in the future.

Environmental Responsibility - up to 30 marks

Care for the local area and minimising adverse impacts on the environment. Cleanliness of streets and pavements and the direct effects that people working at a local level can have and achieve.

Gardening Achievement - up to 30 marks

Dependent on the nature of the project and should always be relevant to the needs and wishes of the community. Consideration given to good gardening practices that suit local needs, within your ability to develo and manage over the medium to long term.

Our Assessment

We joined the It's Your Neighbourhood In Bloom campaign when it started in 2010. That year we were pleased to receive a 'Developing' award and resolved to do better. In 2011, our grade had moved up to 'Thriving', which spurred us on to greater efforts, which were recognised in 2012 by the award of the 'Outstanding' level. So maintaining that grade for two more years is a credit to all who helped and to all our residents who took part in the Garden Competition.

The Judge's comments

The residents association have been working hard for the last few years to improve their surroundings and this is paying off. The area is a mixture of Council, Housing Association and private homes all working together for a better way of life. They work with a variety of organisations recently they have worked closely with Barford Road Social Centre, which has now just been sold. It does seem that the new owners, an Islamist Organisation, want to become part of the wider area. The quick tidy just before my visit is a great improvement and shows what can be done just by talking to people. Let?s hope this is the start of a good working relationship.
The grow site goes from strength to strength, this started out as a old garage site and is now brimming with a wide variety of vegetable plants and there is now a poly-tunnel used to grow on plants for the Association.

Areas of Achievement

*

The grow site is such a great asset not only recognised by us but is now known to a national audience

*

The wide range of social activities that are put on throughout the year to encourage a wider involvement of the community

*

The improvement to the canal access shows how well the group works with all the local providers; the path way was becoming unsafe, now it provides a lovely restful walk

Areas for Development

*

It would have been nice to see more of the local community on this year?s tour, however there were good photographs in the portfolio

*

The collection of water at the grow site is still poor and something that should be looked into

*

Now you are on wheelie bins this should help with litter as bags are easily ripped open but as your bin day has changed the signs need to be changed

More information about Heart of England In Bloom