How we inspired change Groundwork msstt impact 2015/16

Changing Places, Changing Lives

Groundwork has been working with and supporting communities, businesses and local authorities in Greater Manchester and Lancashire since the early 1980s. We do that through three clear aims: Creating Better Places, Improving People's Prospects and Greener Living & Working.

Read on to find out more about our work in 2015/16...

2,642,000 square metres of land improved or maintained

Creating Better Places

Groundwork helps people to organise and work together to protect, preserve, improve or create green spaces like parks, play areas, allotments and nature reserves – our vital green infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of people get involved across the country each year, creating better places to play, grow, eat and meet.

In August 2015 we relocated to Trafford Ecology Park, our own green oasis, where we’re creating a showcase of sustainable living and working in the heart of Trafford Industrial Park.

Examples of our work last year...

Community action for ancient woodland

Bailey’s Wood is one of Manchester’s few remaining semi-natural ancient woodlands and we’re getting the local community involved to help ensure it thrives for years to come. Working in partnership with Red Rose Forest (now known as City of Trees), The Conservation Volunteers and Northwards Housing, we’re aiming to increase community ownership of the Wood and preserve and boost the biodiversity of this remnant of ancient forest in the heart of the city.

A better environment for mental health care

We worked with the patients and staff at Fairfield Hospital in Bury to create a new open space for relaxation and therapy at their Adult Mental Health Unit – and we’ve seen dramatic results.

Early indications show a reduction in incidents of violence and aggression towards staff and patients by 43%-53% since the introduction of external therapies in the improved grounds, creating cost savings for the Unit and benefiting patients.

“We are absolutely delighted with the natural play project designed and delivered by Groundwork – the equipment hugely enhances our outdoor area and fits really well within our Forest School environment. What sets Groundwork apart is the effort they make to engage with staff and parents, to understand our requirements and to then create an innovative, high-quality facility within agreed budgets.” (Linda Connelly, Head, Staghills Nursery School)
2957 days of volunteering by adults and young people

Improving People's Prospects

Groundwork believes that no-one should be disadvantaged because of where they live or because of their background. We want to stop talent and lives from being wasted due to long-term unemployment, a lack of aspiration or poor health and wellbeing.

We provide a range of projects and services to help people improve their prospects. We have a particular focus on inspiring young people who face challenging circumstances and disadvantage in order to raise their aspirations, build self-confidence and help them plan for their future.

Examples of our work last year...

Achievement in Crumpsall

For more than three years we’ve been giving intensive support to groups of young people in Crumpsall to help them gain more control over their own lives. It’s involved Achievement Coaching in Abraham Moss High School, the delivery of social enterprise training and helping enterprising young people set up their own youth club, the Pulse Youth Project in Crumpsall Park.

In 2015/16 we mentored 26 young people through the Achievement Coaches programme. Abraham Moss High School has reported that those pupils who have taken part in the Achievement Coaches scheme have seen an increase in progression of over 40% in key subjects such as Maths, English and Science.

Blue Sky North

Blue Sky North employs ex-offenders on full-time six-month contracts to work on a landscaping and site maintenance team. We’re the northern franchise of Blue Sky Development & Regeneration – the acclaimed ex-offender led social enterprise.

We secure landscape construction, fencing and grounds maintenance contracts from public, private and voluntary sector clients. 47% of employees progress into onward employment in the wider labour market and Blue Sky has a re-offending rate of 15%, a quarter of the national average.

“This job [with Blue Sky North] has turned my life around. Without the job it’s likely I would have gone back to crime. I now have my own real money earned legally.” (Tom)
476 home visits carried out by our expert Green Doctors

Greener Living & Working

Climate change is now a global emergency. Every month during 2016 has seen a new record high temperature set for that month. Groundwork is committed to helping people and organisations take action to deliver both practical benefits now and sow the seeds of a more sustainable future.

This year saw recent extreme flooding events in both Manchester and Lancashire, underlining the need for everyone to work together to reduce carbon emissions and adapt our neighbourhoods to a warmer future.

Examples of our work last year...

Addressing water quality

We have worked in partnership with the Environment Agency to engage 30 businesses based on some of the most polluting industrial estates in Greater Manchester. Urban diffuse pollution from these estates has a significant impact on water quality in Manchester’s rivers. Our consultants conducted a scoping exercise across 15 industrial estates, followed up with on-site reviews at targeted high-risk sites. We worked with the businesses to identify legal issues, key risks and propose mitigation measures.

When we revisited we found that 91% of legal breaches had been rectified or were in the process of being, and that 68% of our best practice recommendations were already implemented or in the planning stages.

Helping vulnerable people stay warm and well

Our Green Doctors are independent, impartial experts who give homes a check-up then offer energy-saving advice. They help people to take control of their energy bills and reduce their environmental impact at the same time.

Supported by British Gas Energy Trust and Southway Housing, they have targeted the elderly and those at risk of worsening chronic health conditions through living in cold, damp environments. Green Doctors have carried out energy surveys and prescribed and installed basic energy-saving measures. They’ve helped people apply for grants, switch providers to cheaper tariffs and offered detailed action plans to help tenants save hundreds of pounds.

This year we’ve provided advice and staying well tips to almost 500 vulnerable households across the city. An average potential annual saving of £615 was identified per household – and we’ve had 100% positive feedback from tenants.

“This service has really helped and supported the disadvantaged families I work with. The advice that has been given will help them to save money from their electric and gas bills. The families can now understand the budget they have left on the meter and are working towards this, and realising where they are using more electric and how they can save it.” (Yasmin Akhtar, Manchester City Council)

Groundwork 2020

Groundwork’s services are needed now more than ever. We need a successful northern economy, able to cope with major challenges such as Brexit and climate change.

That future ‘powerhouse’ needs an environment that can attract world-class businesses, work-ready young people with 21st-century skills and a roadmap towards a low carbon future.

Our sector and local communities have faced unprecedented funding cuts since 2010. This means we have to be creative about how we fund our work and focus on growing our commercial income streams, as well as continuing to work with our public sector partners to deliver commissions and to access existing and new grant funds.

Our future goals...

  • Develop new green health and wellbeing services
  • Upgrade and promote Trafford Ecology Park
  • Focus on engaging young people with the local environment
  • Create solutions for green space management
  • Provide step-by-step support towards employment
Our mission: to change places and change lives
Created By
Jon Kedwards
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