The essential journalist news source
Green-fingered Ken makes Care Plus courtyard bloom


                     Press Release


Ref: PRCP015                                                                                        Date: 28thSeptember 2021

Green-fingered Ken makes Care Plus courtyard bloom

A picture containing flower, person, outdoor, plantDescription automatically generated

Hi-res image
A resident of a retirement living community managed by Care Plus has been hailed a neighbourhood hero after he spent weeks transforming a shared courtyard into a productive garden filled with flowers, vegetables and fruit.

During lockdown, Ken Smith immediately offered to shop for neighbouring residents of the retirement apartments and bungalows in a village near Wolverhampton. He soon found other ways to help, too, walking a dog for an owner who was shielding and becoming a lifeline for people living alone.

At the start of this year Ken spotted the potential for a paved courtyard to become a colourful outdoor space where residents could start to get together again, safely. He designed a plan for a new garden and neighbours chipped-in to buy plants and equipment.

Now, the residents' garden is filled with colour from hanging baskets and planted containers. Space has been found for fruit trees, herbs and vegetable plants and there is a new barbecue along with a greenhouse for chillies and tomatoes.

"It's been a lot of work but people got involved in the project, helping me to weed and keep the area looking its best and giving our garden furniture a bright new facelift," says Ken. "The cold spring meant that we had a slow start but the garden is really taking shape now and it's been lovely to see people enjoying it in the sunshine. We will be producing lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, which will be harvested for anyone to use."

Ken was named a Neighbourhood Hero by Care Plus, which manages the retirement living community on behalf of not-for-profit housing provider Housing Plus Group  Sharon Allen is his retirement living officer: "Ken has made such a positive difference to our community," she said. "He has created a lovely outdoor space that has become very important to the residents. He's an ambassador in our community and a great neighbour who is always willing to help."

Caption (for CP21142):

Neighbourhood hero Ken Smith.


Background for editors

Care Plus specialises in housing and support for older people and those with physical or learning difficulties. Managing 53 retirement living communities across Staffordshire and Shropshire, Care Plus helps people to live independently in their own homes with support including 24:7 telecare response, wellbeing services and domiciliary care.  

The personal care service delivered by Care Plus has been assessed as Good in all areas by the Care Quality Commission. 

Care Plus is registered as a Charitable Community Benefit Society and is part of Housing Plus Group, a leading provider of quality, affordable homes and care services that customers can trust across Shropshire and Staffordshire.  Housing Plus Group members also include South Staffordshire Housing Association, Severnside Housing, Stafford and Rural Homes and Severn Homes.

Housing Plus Group is addressing the housing crisis by starting to build 2,000 new homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale by 2023. The Group has pledged to deliver one-third more hours of care and support for older people in their own homes and to create apprenticeship opportunities for 100 people in the Group and its supply chain within five years.

Its members are inspired by the CLARITY values which are the foundations of its work: Communication, Learning, Accountable, Respectful, Inclusive, Trust and YOU. 

Further information 

Mara Hargreaves  
Head of marketing and communications   
m:07800 619 863

Clare Chick 
Marketing and communications officer 
m: 07950 254 279  

Martin Farrow 
CHANGEWORKS Communications 
t:  + 44 (0) 1785 247588 
m: +44 (0)7771 970025