Celebrating Devonport customer Joan’s creative garden displays during Community Impact Week

Tuesday 07/11/2017

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Queen Street, Plymouth, DCH customer Joan Ware who has lived in Devonport most of her life has been impressing passers-by with her creative nautical themed garden displays. DCH are celebrating her achievements during national Community Impact Week (6 – 12 November 2017).

Going above and beyond, 64 year old Joan voluntarily attends to all the large planters across the scheme, whatever the weather to exhibit beautiful floral displays that are admired by residents and visitors to the scheme. Joan’s work has been so appreciated by her neighbours she was recently nominated for her housing associations ‘Community Champion’ award.

Paul Marshall, DCH Director of Community Engagement said: “Joan is the latest DCH Community Champion award winner. The awards are for people who are doing remarkable things within their neighbourhoods. Joan has put a huge amount of effort into the area, creating enjoyable and surprising nautical scenes across the area. There’s a real sense that local people love and appreciate what Joan is doing and this is what being a community champion is about.”
Community Impact Week gives DCH a chance to showcase all of the really positive things happening in and about neighbourhoods.

Joan Ware, DCH customer said: ‘’Thank you to DCH for this award and the recognition they have given me. I am passionate about where I live and want to look the best it can.’’

DCH have a major scheme that backs those unsung heroes we all have in our communities that take it upon themselves to make their neighbourhoods positive places to live. As well as Community Champions DCH also runs a successful ‘Community Links’ programme where customers and residents groups work with DCH, to signpost other customers to how DCH could help with sustaining tenancies, support people to get involved, improve money management and life time learning.

Community links are mentored by DCH’s resident engagement advisors in the voluntary role. As part of this, the customers have created community directories, which are available to new customers through our Lettings Team, which will help them quickly become familiar with the area. As an example three new customers, moved into our sheltered scheme in Devonport during the period of the community link pilot. They were given a community directory which they were really pleased with as it helped them to quickly access all the useful places they might need, such as doctors, dentist, transport links and shops. The success of the pilot is now being evaluated and we are looking at how we can extend this voluntary opportunity to operate more widely across Devon and Cornwall. As part of the approach, we’ve also recruited Estate Monitors in the Plymouth area, who regularly report back on the quality of grounds maintenance and communal cleaning through an online portal.

Debbie Sims, DCH Resident Engagement Team Leader said: “This is a great example of how we are working with our customers to improve and add value to what we do”.

Community Impact week is a celebration of what’s happening all year round, where individuals and whole communities are active in making their community a great place to live. We’re proud to be involved, helping our customers to do something amazing, providing support and funding where it’s needed or just getting out there and volunteering.