Aspire Residents Celebrate Garden Makeover

A green-fingered pensioner and 99 delighted neighbours have extra reason to celebrate their landlord’s tenth anniversary.

Mr Marsh 100 gardensCharles Marsh, aged 86, has received the garden makeover of his dreams as Aspire Housing marks the occasion – and he is not alone.

The organisation is revamping the gardens of its 100 eldest residents to mark its 10th anniversary year.

The project is being supported by other group members: PM Training, a social enterprise that tackles worklessness among young people, and funded by the Realise Foundation, an inspirational charity that benefits the people and communities of North Staffordshire.

“I’ve lived in my home for over 40 years,” said Charles, of Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

“Gardening has always been a favourite pastime but getting older it has become increasingly difficult, especially with my health deteriorating.”

Charles, who worked at Newcastle Under Lyme’s highways department, as a maintenance technician before retiring, was thrilled when Aspire Housing stepped in to help.

Teenage apprentices from PM Training completed the garden overhaul as part of a celebratory project funded by the recently launched Realise Foundation.

“The lads were great, they worked extremely hard and I am delighted with the results,” said Charles.

“It wasn’t an easy job – there was so much soil to get through and lots of roots. It had reached the point where I was unable to maintain it.”

He added: “This makeover has really made my dreams come true, my garden looks great and it’s no effort to keep on top of it at all. So many people have complimented me – everyone thinks it looks great.”

More than a hundred elderly Aspire residents will benefit from the programme with work due to be completed before the end of the year. They will also receive an impressive piece of art designed and created by PM Training apprentices.

Sinead Butters, Chief Executive of the Aspire Group said, “We are committed to providing first-class services and creating better homes and communities for our residents, and the people of North Staffordshire.

“We are able to do more for our customers and communities through our joint work with PM Training and the Realise Foundation than we could if we were only a housing association.

“Our tenth anniversary is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to our communities. The garden makeover project shows how much value we can bring as a group.”

The Aspire Group provides more than 20,000 customers with quality affordable homes and services across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. It launched the Realise Foundation as part of Aspire Housing’s 10th anniversary celebrations.