Colliers Court garden has a makeover thanks to community initiative

Colliers Court in Frome benefitted from a makeover thanks to a community initiative set up by Somerset County Council, Skanska and Southwest One.

The partner’s initiative, new for 2016, offers time and manpower to make improvements to community spaces.

Colliers Court Resource Centre in Frome was identified as one location to benefit from the scheme. The Resource Centre is a community space and hosts a café run by adults with learning disabilities. Community groups can make use of the communal areas, which are available for hire during evenings and weekends.

The outdoor space at the Centre was in need of a much needed spruce up. The space was previously used for fetes and various activities but over time the patio areas had become worn, deteriorated, un-level, overgrown and was not safe for use. Plus one young child who requires wheelchair access and lives in a Council property next to the Resource Centre had to travel a short taxi ride to the Centre everyday rather than access via an interlinked path.

Earlier this month a team of nine volunteers from Somerset County Council, Skanska and Southwest One took up the challenge to clear and fix the outside space. They hacked back and cleared all overgrown shrubbery, brambles, removed old tree stumps and generally transformed the area. A Skanska specialist sub-contractor P&D Surfacing relayed all the patio slabs and tarmacked the external path areas connecting the property to the Resource Centre.

A staff member at Colliers Court, said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of staff and customers for all the team have done to help us restore the garden area at Colliers Court to a state where we can now access it and enjoy spending time preparing it for the Spring. The team worked so hard to bring the whole area back to life and we are extremely grateful for this. Many thanks again for all your support.”

Cllr William Wallace, Cabinet Member with responsibility for learning disability services, said: “It is fantastic that the council, along with our partners, are able and willing to spare the time to give something back to the community. This refurbishment of the outdoor space will make a real difference to the residents and visitors of Colliers Court.”

General Manager Alex Baker from Skanska, added: “This a great cause and is a perfect example of a collaborative approach to restoring an area in need of attention. The result has improved the lives and experience of the centre’s users. Community engagement is very important for Skanska and is directly aligned with our values. We are looking forward to the next community improvement project, which we expect to deliver in spring 2017.”

A Spokesperson for Southwest One, said: “The team at Southwest One all enjoyed the day and are delighted that it has made such a difference to the property, residents and visitors and look forward to visiting when we are passing to see how it develops.”

Enquiries and bookings for the communal space and café at Colliers Court can be made by emailing wpcmendip@somerset.gov.uk