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.
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.
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.