Ark currently works with Utilita, when properties become void we arrange to switch to them as the utility supplier for the property. Utilita have recently introduced a community fund to support Ark, our tenants and the local community. For every void that Ark submit and switch to Utilita, they donate £15 per supply point to Ark’s bespoke fund. This additional revenue stream can be tailored to suit the needs of Ark tenants.
Recently we were approached by Real Life Option staff who provide support services to our tenants at our development Arklea in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire to advise that they intended to turn their outdoor space into a beautiful and accessible sensory garden.
The aim is to transform the garden into a tranquil and welcoming place where people can meet and safely socialise together. The Ark tenants, their staff team, family members and community neighbours are looking forward to rolling up their sleeves once work begins. They plan to add a path to remote areas of the garden and a slabbed patio area with seating which will be suitable for wheelchair access. There will be raised planters so that all tenants can be involved in looking after the plants. There will be bird boxes and other features to attract wildlife into the garden and a barbeque for get-togethers and parties.
Currently Ark tenants and Real Life Options staff are fundraising to buy tools, plants and equipment and hope to begin transforming the garden in the next few months. In order to raise money for the sensory garden tenants and their staff team took part in a sponsored 5K walk along Aberdeen beach (some in fancy dress)!! They also have other events planned to raise more money in the coming months.
To help the tenants and staff get started on the garden Ark decided to use the money from the Utilita community fund to purchase a plum tree and cherry blossom tree. This also ties in with Scottish Housing Day 2021 which Ark are supporting.
Scottish Housing Day 2021 is today 15 September 2021, highlighting challenges and achievements in the housing sector. In the year of COP26 in Glasgow the emphasis is firmly on the climate emergency and emissions from housing. As we know planting trees is a simple thing everyone can do to reduce carbon dioxide, a principal greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Ark’s asset officer Paul Alison helped dig the garden to plant the tree and Ark tenants and staff were very happy that a start had been made to improve their garden.
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