Community space created after tenant offers up garden for volunteer project

Ian Williams and bpha transform land on the corner of Chester Road and Carlisle Road, Bedford into community space.
Ian Williams and bpha transform land on the corner of Chester Road and Carlisle Road, Bedford into community space.

A community space has been created in Queens Park, Bedford, with plans to celebrate the area’s carnival on the site.

The green space was given a new look for use by the community thanks to the joint work of a housing provider and property services company.

Volunteers from bpha and Ian Williams cleared the patch of land on the corner of Chester Road and Carlisle Road, planting new trees and shrubs.

The land previously formed part of a bpha tenant’s garden, but the association reclaimed it for communal ground at the tenant’s request and plans to erect a sculpture in due course celebrating the town’s Queens Park Carnival.

The project is one of many volunteer events that bpha will be involved with as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations. Throughout the next year, a minimum of 25 employee volunteering projects will take place, offering all 343 bpha employees the opportunity to celebrate and engage with customers and communities. The aim is for all employees to take part in one volunteer project and give something back to the community.

Kevin Bolt, chief executive officer, said: “bpha puts its customers at the heart of its business so it is only natural that we have chosen to celebrate our 25th anniversary by giving back to the people and communities that we serve through a programme of volunteering. We are proud of how we as an organisation can ‘make a real difference’ and over the coming year our plan is for all employees to get involved and give something back to the communities in which we work.”

Jane Grant, voids co-ordinator, was one of five Ian Williams volunteers who helped carried out the work.

She said: “As long-standing bpha contractors, we were only too happy to offer to help out with this work. In a relatively short period of time we were able to transform an overgrown area into a pleasant green space that can now be enjoyed by the whole community.”

Jane was joined by business manager Jon Dixon and three Ian Williams operatives. The company also contributed a 30-yard skip, which was filled by the end of the day.

Ian Williams has worked with bpha for the past four years, with its operatives carrying out responsive maintenance, repairs and renovations to void properties, and planned upgrades including kitchen, bathroom, window and door replacements, external painting and roofing works.