Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie visited a local community garden in Chelmsley Wood to learn about the work they are doing to clean up the area and give residents a sense of pride in their community.
Gro-Organic is an organisation made up of local people who are passionate about revitalising green spaces and giving something back to their community. Their work ranges from cleaning up school gardens and pitches, to creating lively and attractive community spaces, such as ponds, wildlife reserves and gardens.
The work is supported by funding from the Police and Crime Commisisoners Active Citizens Fund. The PCC’s Active Citizens Fund is formed of money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and is awarded to groups who wish to invest in local community projects.
The Gro-Organic team also engage with hard to reach youngsters in the area, and help them to build up skills and experience in number of different trades, such as landscaping, labouring and arts and design.
Speaking on the project’s success, Assistant Police and Crime Commisisoner, Ashley Bertie said: “It is great to see our Active Citizens funding going towards a project which is making a real difference in the community.
“Gro Organic is a true example of active citizenship and I look forward to seeing how their work develops in the future.”
Michael Forbes, Operations Director said: “Our organisation is built from a team of local people who are passionate about creating outstanding green spaces whilst investing in local people and the community.
“We specialise in the design and building of commercial and domestic landscape gardens, providing a high-calibre service to a range of clients that brings about award-winning transformations to be enjoyed for years to come.
“We have just completed a 3 week summer arts college programme for youth offenders between the ages of 14-18. All those who 7 took part have earned themselves a qualification at GCSE level.
“Last year we had 94 youth offenders working with us . Of those we have placed 25 back into work and at least another 10 back into education or training”.
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