Elderly residents living in Kelvin Avenue in Bedford have seen an idea bloom into a brand new garden and courtyard.
During a recent tour and inspection of 13 bpha bungalows, residents said that they were unhappy with the appearance of their front courtyard. They also pointed out that the uneven paths in the courtyard were stopping them from using the space for fear of falling.
In response, bpha worked with residents to regenerate the courtyard and surrounding gardens to make them more appealing.
bpha’s Head of Housing Management, David Parsons, said that feedback from residents about issues like this helps make people happier in their homes because the organisation can often make changes and improvements.
“We’re here working for the residents, so this kind of feedback just makes our jobs easier in the end,” said Mr Parsons.
“The team member who received these comments then went from door to door to find out if everyone agreed about the garden. When they all agreed that they would support any improvements to the area, we knew that we could take a positive step.”
Following a consultation with residents about how they would like their area to look, everyone agreed that decorative paving to replace a stone garden would be a good idea, and that the existing flower beds should be replanted with low level shrubs and bushes.
Councillor Sue Oliver was taking part in the tour and inspection at the time and was keen to suggest that the Council could also provide some financial support to help make the area more pleasant.
"As a Cauldwell Councillor I am delighted to have been able to donate £1,000 from my ward support fund towards this worthwhile project,” said Councillor Oliver.
“This is an excellent example of how listening to residents' concerns and working in partnership can make a real difference to people's lives."
Local resident, Mrs Carole Ann Fifield, said that the new and improved courtyard area made her/his home far more pleasant.
“Our lovely courtyard in front of the bungalows has made such a difference to the outlook from the front of the buildings,” said Mrs Fifefield.
“It looks clean an cared for now and I am sure all residents will use the outside space during the summer months.
“It was great that bpha and the council were able to act so promptly and listened to our opinions and needs.”
The work was finalised in early February and some residents are now starting to plant their own gardens as they can take even greater pride in their homes.