South Staffs volunteers help transform Caldmore Community Garden

Hardworking volunteers from South Staffs Water have helped transform a derelict house and garden into a thriving community centre in the heart of Caldmore.

Caldmore Village Festival Group has been working with Walsall Council, Walsall Housing Group, Caldmore Accord and a number of other organisations to make-over the land and a former caretaker’s house off Carless Street, after it was leased by Walsall Council.

Anna Rogozinska, Community Organiser and a volunteer for Caldmore Community Garden, which organises community events at the house and garden on behalf of the village festival group, said: “The community garden is an important space for all communities of Walsall. As well as growing their own veg, fruit and flowers we also organise a lot of activities and events which bring together the diverse cultures of Caldmore. We also use the house for community events and educational activities for all ages.

“Until recently all of these events were slightly hampered because we had to use a neighbouring community centre for water and toilet facilities.

“We contacted South Staffs Water for help with getting a new water supply to the house. However, their response has been fantastic and their employees have really gone the extra mile to help us make the garden and house a better place for everyone who uses it.”

As well as reconnecting water to the house, the water company’s direct services team, led by John Webb laid a new disabled friendly path and Becky Owens, who works at Blithfield Reservoir, was able to review and endorse their approach to wildlife gardening.

Inside, the property was painted by a member of the building and facilities team. The company also supplied some spare furniture, while its independently run restaurant was able to help out with donating a number of items for use in the kitchen.

Chris Watson, who runs South Staffs Water’s volunteering scheme, said: “This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when people pull together for the benefit of the whole community.

“It’s a lovely little oasis right in the middle of Walsall.”

All the work was completed in time for a grand opening of the house on 31 March.