Housing minister digs in with social enterprise supporting elderly people across Denbighshire. Wednesday 30 July 2014
The Welsh Government Minister for Housing and Regeneration has visited a Denbighshire woman whose home and life has been brightened up by a gardening support social enterprise.
Carl Sargeant AM was joined by Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones for a visit to Rhuddlan resident Edith to see first hand the green-fingered work carried out by Barry Ellis, who works for Gerddi Gwyrdd Gardening and Handyperson Service.
Set up in 2009 by Denbighshire Care and Repair which is run by Grŵp Cynefin housing association, Gerddi Gwyrdd takes care of gardening on behalf of Denbighshire residents who are unable to carry out their own maintenance work.
Due to his deteriorating health, Edith‘s husband found it increasingly difficult to take care of his beloved garden. Fortunately, Gerddi Gwyrdd was available to lend a hand.
Over the last two years, Barry has visited the couple every fortnight to keep their garden in shape. He continued to keep the garden tidy after Edith’s husband moved to a local care home last summer.
As well as providing friendship and support for the couple, Barry’s visits also helped them access improvements to their home, including the installation of a keysafe and a ramp for Edith’s husband’s mobility scooter.
Edith said: “Barry’s not just our gardener, he’s our friend. It makes such a difference being able to spend time in the garden in Barry’s company without having to do all the hard work!
“As well as having a friend that we can rely on, we also know that we can call Denbighshire Care & Repair if there’s anything we need.”
The couple are just one of the many elderly residents from across Denbighshire that have accessed support through Denbighshire Care & Repair.
As part of his visit, the Minister spoke to Barry and representatives from Grŵp Cynefin about Gerddi Gwyrdd, as well as helping with some light gardening work just in time for the summer.
Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sargeant said: “I’ve been pleased to meet Edith today and hear about the positive impact Gerddi Gwyrdd through Denbighshire Care & Repair is having on her home life.
“Edith clearly enjoys her wonderful garden and has benefited greatly from the service. I’m delighted that Welsh Government funding has enabled her to get the extra support she needs to help maintain her pride and joy.”
Denbighshire Care & Repair offers advice and guidance to homeowners and private tenants in Denbighshire, helping them to retain their independence in their own home.
Assistance for people over the age of 60 ranges from repairs, improvements and home safety checks to assisting with applications for grants and benefits.
Denbighshire Care & Repair manager Lynda Colwell said: “Gerddi Gwyrdd makes a huge difference to the lives of people who are otherwise unable to maintain their own gardens and carry out minor repairs.
“It also helps Denbighshire Care & Repair to engage with older people who would not have otherwise contacted us.
“It’s great that Gerddi Gwyrdd has had a positive impact on life for Edith and her husband, and we would love to hear from other Denbighshire residents who could benefit from the service.”
Over the last five years, Gerddi Gwyrdd has steadily grown to serve an increasing number of people, and last year set up a new venture, Bryn Bella Plants.
The new service sells a range of plants and planters, and works in partnership with Denbighshire school pupils studying Design and Technology GCSEs, who make planters as part of their course work and benefit from work experience with Gerddi Gwyrdd.
Grŵp Cynefin chief executive Walis George said: “It was a pleasure to speak to Edith and hear first-hand how Denbighshire Care & Repair has had a positive impact on her life.
“Grŵp Cynefin provides much more than social housing, and the work Gerddi Gwyrdd carry out is an excellent example of our commitment to supporting the communities we work within, from elderly residents to students contributing to Bryn Bella Plants.
“I congratulate everybody involved in Gerddi Gwyrdd and Denbighshire Care & Repair for their fantastic work within the community.”
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