St Andrews once the heart of Hull's Fishing Industry but in more recent years has suffered from the industries decline and targeted demolition during 20th Century resulting in changes to the local-economy, physical-landscape and neighbourhoods being dispersed across the city.
St Andrews was further affected by the loss of Pathfinder funding in 2011 intended to address these issues. As a result many projects were left unfinished, large areas of land vacant and for a long-time residents in limbo.
The results of these factors can now be seen in the IDM figures revealing all 4 St Andrews SOA fall in the top 10% most-deprived nationally, including for Income (over 28% of household’s receiving less than £15,000 per annum) Outdoor-Living-Environments. Many existing green-spaces being of low-quality and are affected by problems resulting from fly-tipping and bin-contaminations that also blight St Andrews as a whole. Despite these issues many Eastern Europeans have chosen to make it their home bringing a cultural-diversity to St Andrews but challenges relating to language and cultural differences.
Groundwork has worked in St Andrews for over 3yrs including:
Western Library Garden -initially commissioned to resolve conflicts between residents and the Council resulting from the inclusion of adjacent community-space into the Western-Library refurbishments which prior to inclusion become a focus for anti-social behaviour. We engaged the community ensuring they’re active involvement in the design-development-future management of the new garden. This project has proved successful and we established a friends group to maintain the garden and promote community use. In 2015 the group achieved Silver Gilt in Yorkshire in Bloom.
Edible Heritage Project - Working with local groups to introduce heritage fruit-trees into community spaces and sourcing training for volunteers to gain the skills to maintain-tend them.
Working in St Andrews through our city-wide food growing-cooking pilot –supported resident’s to learn food growing-cooking skills resulting in one group taking over the maintenance of a civic planter.
Groundwork’s work has enabled us to build trust and strong-relationships with residents, organisations and service providers within the community.
About the Project
Growing St Andrews (GStA) is more than a food-growing initiative. It will deliver lasting change to the lives of residents and the area. To achieve this GStA will harness the assets of the local-community its people-spaces and facilitate collective-action that transforms the environment and rebuilds community-cohesion and pride. Providing education-support to the community to build their skills-confidence and capacity to create and maintain a network of stimulating-safe, inviting green-spaces that are valued, cared for and meet the needs of local-people; from pocket-parks to community-gardens.
GStA will provide positive ways local-people can re-engage with their environment. Using Community settings GStA will deliver experiential-learning activities and actions days that increase recycling, reduce fly tipping and address the issues impacting on the local-environment.
Community ownership is fundamental to the success of GStA to ensure this is achieved we will employ a Community Participation Worker and part-time Volunteer Coordinator. Based within St Andrews they will build on the strong links already established within the community and will be responsible for engaging partners, recruiting volunteers, ensuring access to resources, coordinating training-learning and technical support.
Learning opportunities will be available through volunteering (directly or through support to partners) providing practical-hands on activities that build skills and knowledge of residents through the transformation of community spaces. GStA will also deliver educational workshops in woodwork, horticulture, simple construction-skills and community-activism. Topics will include: seasonal growing, pruning, seed-collection, cuttings, junk planters, cob construction, community-development, regeneration and social media. GStA will promote and encourage reuse enabling residents to `re-think waste’ and develop transferable skills that make their money go further and support the sustainability of community action. diverse-cross-section of local-residents to become Green-Champions they may already have environmental-knowledge or simply be individuals with commitment and passion to make a difference in their community. Champions will become recognisable faces within the area inspiring others to get involved. Training will be provided ensuring that champions and their network of volunteers can manage spaces created. Additional support will be given to identified Champions and a `Train the Trainer’ model employed ensuring that by years 2-3 they become educators delivering community based learning beyond the life of GStA.
Strengthening existing partnerships and developing new-networks is also essential to the success of GStA; enabling GStA to utilise their local-knowledge and roots within the area. Thus ensuring engagement with all sections of the community including those most-marginalised. Existing partners include Streetwize, Friends of the Western Library (FOWL) and Hull-Library’s and Hull City Council all have been instrumental in supporting Groundwork's activities within St Andrews.
The Western Library has been offered as a project-hub; providing a centre for activities training, workshops, events and will host the `Tool Shed’ an innovative lending service for garden equipment. Delivered through the existing lending system it will ensure the community has access to resources, removing financial barriers to growing.
Working with partners GStA will develop an annual programme of activities that showcase and celebrate achievements, utilise spaces and unite the community. Activities will include: an `in-bloom competition, open gardens, events and community festivals.
GStA will develop private sector partnerships to utilise land, access waste materials for developing community spaces and create sponsorship-employee volunteering opportunities that contribute to the sustainability of initiatives.
GStA will provide a package of support to schools including: CPD, tools-resource pack for teachers enabling grounds and community-spaces to be utilised for extra-curricular activities bringing added value to core subjects.
These factors combine to create a community where residents face a constant struggle, opportunities are limited and the once strong sense of community is being eroded.
GStA will improve the environment by:
Address issues including fly-tipping and bin contamination through the provision of information-support and initiatives that enable residents to take action to achieve lasting change.
Develop a network of quality-safe-thriving community green-spaces that provide places to play-socialise-learn and grow fulfilling the needs of the community present-future.
ST Andrews is one of the most deprived areas nationally with over 8,000 inhabitants GStA will improve the lives of local people in a number of ways:
Increased self-esteem-confidence and social capital, improved physical-emotional well-being and reduced feelings of isolation through the provision of community-activities, volunteering-learning opportunities that enable individuals to develop new skills or utilise existing ones.
Enable residents to make their money-go-further and improve-create personal green-spaces through provision of accessible resource together with information-advice and support that builds knowledge-skills in subjects including re-use of waste materials, seed-collections, simple construction skills and food-growing.
Improved the emotional and physical well-being of all through the creation of safe-loved community green-spaces that provide access to nature, places for recreation, exercise and socialisation.
A minimum of 7 local groups-organisations will have improved knowledge-skills in relation to environmental action and the capacity to deliver-sustain environmental actions.
To achieve this GStA will develop a mechanism for information sharing, communication and collaboration between groups that creates sustainable partnerships.
Ensure that organisations have or are linked to Green-Champions who will recruit-support-train a network of skilled-volunteers that can be utilised to maintain green-spaces.
The Western Library partnership will ensure organisations-individuals have access to free resources through the `Tool Shed and existing services.
A more integrated cohesive community with a new cultural-identity based on shared experiences and collaboration. Actions days where neighbours work side by side and community celebrations will break down cultural barriers, unite local people and create a shared sense of achievement.
Growing St Andrews Activities
GStA will help address these inequalities. Enabling residents to gain skills for life that make their money go further. Horticultural, simple construction and woodworking skills will enable residents either collectively or individually to learn how to create and tend for growing areas, meaning that even the smallest of spaces can be used to help feed families.
Together with preserve making this will enable residents to:
Grow fresh, healthy produce that reduces their food bills
Harvest seeds for future crops thus removing the cost of seeds
Store foods for use out of season so that the money saving benefits are spread throughout the year
Compost using food waste and other organic matter – removing the need for expensive fertilisers and shop bought compost.
GStA will address the issues of recycling and fly-tipping which impact on the community and continue the process of helping residents make their money go further. Enabling people to re-think waste and re-use items they or others might otherwise discard. GStA will not only provide information and support to residents to increase recycling but will provide workshops where they will gain skills to enable them to not just to make do and mend, but to transform waste into new and exciting items.
• Using woodworking and simple construction skills to build planters, vertical gardens and up-cycled furniture.
• Crafts such as rag rug making and clothes alterations to create soft furnishings and new garments from tired old clothes destined for the bin
Stronger more Cohesive community - building community pride Improving cultural understanding-integration through collective action to improve their community
Improved Environment - Through environmental education-action resulting in the creation of sustainable quality green-spaces for play-socialising, learning, growing, cultural activities-celebrations
Helping people improve their lives by Enabling them to make their money go further by helping them gain practical skills in food growing and re-using waste.
If GStA has been a success it will result in the following
Improved quality of existing green spaces
The creation of a number of additional quality green spaces that meet the needs of the local community
Reduction in contaminated bins and fly tipping that mean streets and green spaces are dirty and appear neglected
There are a network of community groups and volunteers committed to maintaining green spaces within the community beyond the life of GStA
Community organisations feel confident to manage community green spaces beyond the life of GStA
Increase in the number of resident who feel confident in using green skills to make their money go further
Increase in the number of residents who feel confident to grow their own food
All sections of the community including the private sector have collaborated to achieve positive changes within the St Andrews Ward
Members of the original GStA project board are committed to continuing to work together to sustain the changes created through GStA
The community has worked together to deliver a range of community activities that have resulted in all sections of the community feeling that St Andrews is now a friendlier nicer place to live
Increase in the level of community activism and volunteering within St Andrews
The creation of an established network of Green Champions who support environmental and community action within St Andrews
Green Champion Community educators are trained and are able to develop training that will continue to enable residents within St Andrews to develop green skills and facilitate collective action beyond the life of GStA
The community has worked together to develop a number of annual celebrations including GStA that celebrate environmental achievements and utilise community green spaces that will continue beyond the life of GStA