Free garden tool loan club for Manor Farm residents

Residents are being given free use of garden tools to enhance their homes and local neighbourhood as part of a multi-million pound project being undertaken by housing refurbishment company, Lovell.

A community get-together was held at the Manor Farm estate on Friday, 2 June to celebrate the launch of a new garden tool loan club, which gives access to free gardening equipment to more than 300 households.

The event, organised by Whitefriars Housing, saw local residents enjoy a number of activities including a kick around with the city’s football team, The Sky Blues, a community clean up and information stalls providing handy tips and advice to help residents with saving energy around the home and training and employment opportunities. Residents also had the opportunity to test the new gardening equipment by planting some summer bulbs.

Lovell has provided the free gardening equipment as part of a range of community initiatives the company is providing alongside the extensive refurbishment work it is delivering on the estate. The year-long £10 million programme includes improvements for both tenants and homeowners with external wall insulation, new windows, doors and flat roofs. The work will enhance the look of the properties and make homes warmer and more energy-efficient.

Residents can now use equipment on free loan such as lawnmowers, strimmers, spades, forks and other hand tools, through a booking system managed by local charity, Moat House Community Trust. Whitefriars Housing will ensure residents are confident to use the equipment safely.

Paul Kerby at Whitefriars said: “We’re so pleased that residents have been provided with free gardening equipment. When we first consulted on the improvements planned for the area, residents asked if they could have help in maintaining their gardens so it’s great that they can now get the tools they need through the club.”

Local resident, Sue Salamino said: “With all the expense of running a home trying to find the money to pay for garden tools comes pretty low down on my shopping list. Now I have one less thing to worry about because I can get any tools I need from the Moat House”

Lovell community liaison officer Earl Patrick says: “It’s great to be launching the new tool club with Whitefriars, especially now that the summer weather is finally here and people are keen to get out in their gardens. The club is a fantastic idea which should make a real difference for residents. Community initiatives like this are a huge part of the work we’re doing at Manor Farm. Our aim is to provide additional benefits for residents – alongside the major regeneration improvements for the estate – wherever we can.”

Other initiatives in place through Lovell’s community programme include work and training opportunities in partnership with Reed and The Prince’s Trust.