HHC developed a vegetable patch for the local community previously image
HHC developed a vegetable patch for the local community previously

The Hawthorn Community Action Group, a community group based in Glasgow, has been praised for its pioneering commitment to supporting people with disabilities by planning the city’s first openly accessible activity space.

Hawthorn Housing Co-operative [HHC] believes that its new outdoor play and fitness equipment plan would provide a massive boost to families in its community in Possilpark.

The accessible park project is the brainchild of the Hawthorn Community Action Group, a sub-group of HHC, which is made up of diverse local community activists intent on developing local green spaces and improving well-being.

Scottish Procurement Alliance [SPA] donated £10,000 through its innovative Community Benefit Fund, which has allowed the HHC to progress activities and developments that it could not otherwise afford.

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HHC Director Colin Turnbull said: “The SPA donation makes a massive difference to our community and the quality of their lives.

“Our community action group was formed as a result of the continued investment from the SPA in recent years and the local people have been best placed to decide on where the grant should be utilised. It has resulted in greater social value and an increased quality of life in the area.”

Colin said that he hopes the new community space will provide more accessible play and fitness equipment in Glasgow parks to create more inclusive environments for people with disabilities.

“One of our tenants has a son who uses a wheelchair, and she raised the issue with the action group about lack of disabled friendly play equipment,” he continued. “We have since learned from the Glasgow Disability Alliance that there is a real need for more accessible play equipment in Glasgow’s parks.

“The Group then decided to apply for further funding to incorporate outdoor fitness equipment as well so we could safeguard the health and well-being of both children and adults. The grant has been a tremendous help to us over the years, and will continue to play an important part in the development of our community.”

Glasgow Disability Alliance [GDA], a disabled people-led organisation, has confirmed that the plan would provide a welcome step forward in making parks and green spaces accessible to all.

Community Development Coordinator of the GDA Ruth Hart added: “It is hugely important that disabled people of all ages can access and enjoy our parks and green spaces.

“We met with HHC to share our experience of a project to install accessible play equipment in a Glasgow park which had been stalled due to Covid.  HHC’s commitment to including disabled people’s experiences and access needs from the beginning of their project is a great example for other community groups and organisations.”

The HHC has received a total of £40,000 from the SPA’s fund over the years, which has supported a number of other projects, including developing a vegetable patch for the local community.

As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus generated by SPA – which partners with public sector bodies to fulfil construction, refurbishment and maintenance contracts – is re-distributed into SPA’s Community Benefit Fund and Rebates.

SPA’s 14-strong executive board members (made up of local authorities and registered social landlords) are eligible to apply for a portion of the fund each year to use for projects in their local community.

The organisation works alongside Lintel Trust, which manages the fund and ensures projects and causes support local needs and communities.

Overall, the Community Benefit Fund has handed out grants totalling nearly £500,000 over the last three years – as has helped to generate nearly £375,000 in match funding through Lintel Trust’s assistance, meaning it has helped to give Scottish communities a near £1 million boost.

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Vegetable-Patch-resized.jpg?fit=900%2C675&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Vegetable-Patch-resized.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyNewsroomSector NewsThird Sectoraccessible outdoor space,accessible park,Community Benefit Fund,disabled people,Hawthorn Community Action Group,Hawthorn Housing Co-operative,inclusive environment,Scottish Procurement AllianceThe Hawthorn Community Action Group, a community group based in Glasgow, has been praised for its pioneering commitment to supporting people with disabilities by planning the city’s first openly accessible activity space.Hawthorn Housing Co-operative believes that its new outdoor play and fitness equipment plan would provide a massive...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals