GREENTOWN TO MANAGE CLANMIL GREEN SPACES
25 June 2020
Clanmil Housing Group has awarded Greentown Environmental Ltd the contract to carry out grounds maintenance, landscaping and tree surgery at the housing association's 180 sites across Northern Ireland.
Bev Surgenor of Abbeyfield & Wesley and Tony Giffen of Clanmil Housing congratulate John-Ross Armstrong of Greentown Environmental (centre) on winning the £800K landscaping and grounds maintenance contract.
The family run Fermanagh based company, which also has bases in Magherafelt and Lisburn, will be responsible for keeping the green spaces around Clanmil's 5,300 plus homes looking their best, initially for the next 3 years, and potentially for a total of 7 years.
The contract, which could be worth up to £800K, also includes grounds maintenance at Abbeyfield & Wesley's 24 housing schemes for older people in Northern Ireland as part of a service arrangement with Clanmil.
Clanmil awarded the contract to Greentown Environmental after a competitive tender exercise which included meeting Clanmil tenants and demonstrating the latest back office technology and "quiet" electric battery powered equipment.
The contract also includes enhanced social value provisions which will see Greentown contributing to the Clanmil Community Fund, which supports community led activities in the neighbourhoods where Clanmil works, as well as the association's community cohesion and good relations work.
Tony Giffen, Group Director of Assets at Clanmil, said:
"We are delighted to welcome Greentown Environmental to the Clanmil team. The green spaces at our housing schemes are very important to the people who live there and to the communities surrounding our homes. We are looking forward to working with Greentown to ensure Clanmil's developments remain attractive places to live.
"Maintaining our sites in an environmentally sensitive way is a major priority for Clanmil. Greentown will be helping us implement our new environmental strategy through initiatives such as establishing composting facilities, supporting our residents' gardening initiatives, supporting habitats and planting wildflowers and nectar rich plants."
John-Ross Armstrong, Managing Director at Greentown Environmental said:
"Greentown are delighted to be working with Clanmil and Abbeyfield & Wesley housing associations. We have been working in the industry for over 10 years now and are committed to providing a personal service with professional results. Our employees take pride in their work and care for our clients' properties as if they were their own.
"We are conscious of our impact on the environment. We have made substantial investment in our range of equipment and have been involved with setting up other initiatives that help make our services as environmentally friendly as possible, something we know is also very important to both housing associations. Securing a contract of this nature has helped us create employment opportunities, given us the chance to give back to the community, and also helped us grow our business further across Northern Ireland."
Kind-hearted Portrush Football Club Deliver Chippy Treat to Elderly
02 June 2020
Portrush FC Youths have been treating people living at Clanmil Housing's Abercorn Court and Mews independent living scheme in Portrush to a weekly chippy tea for the past month.
The idea came about when Jason Quigley, Chairman of Portrush FC Youths, and his wife Colette, decided they wanted to do something to support older people living in their community during the coronavirus pandemic.
After receiving funding from Causeway Coast and Glens Council and a donation from local business Skyline Windows NI, they contacted a friend, Sean McLaughlin, who owns Krakin Fish & Chips. Sean agreed to supply the club with fish suppers and over the past month, Portrush FC Youths have delivered 530 meals to older people living in Portrush, Coleraine and Portstewart, including residents at Abercorn Court and Mews.
Fiona Milnes, Scheme Coordinator at Abercorn Court and Mews said:
"We are absolutely delighted by the kindness we've received. The residents adore their fish and chips delivery every Wednesday. Many of the people who live here have been socially isolating from their families and friends during the coronavirus crisis. This has been something for them to look forward to at this difficult time and we all need that at the minute."
Jason Quigley, Chairman at Portrush FC Youths said:
"It has been our pleasure to deliver Kraken Fish & Chips to isolating older residents and vulnerable adults in Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. We couldn't have done this without funding from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and a generous donation from Skyline Windows NI. We're glad we can put this money to good use by helping others in our community through this tough time."
Staff at Abercorn Court and Mews deliver the food to each individual tenant's front door, adhering to social distancing rules.
"We've been getting lots of lovely comments from the staff and residents at Abercorn Court and Mews. It's great to know that such a small act of kindness can really turn a person's day around, and we're thrilled to be a part of that".
NEIGHBOURS ENJOY A SOCIALLY DISTANCED CELEBRATION FOR PAULINE'S BIG 100
20 May 2020
Older people living at a South Belfast sheltered housing scheme have not let lockdown stop them celebrating their neighbour's 100th birthday. They've found a way to enjoy cake and a sing-along together while staying home and staying safe.
(L-R) Linzi Webb, good relations officer at Clanmil, Anita O'Connor, Pauline's daughter, singer Harry McGarrity and Clanmil scheme co-ordinator Vicki McCafferty watch as Pauline cuts her birthday cake.
Pauline Kieran, also known as Mary, who lives at Clanmil Housing's Blessington Court in Rosetta, was born in 1920 in County Louth, one of eight children. She moved to Belfast when she married, where she ran a bar and green grocers with her late husband Gerry for many years. The couple had five daughters and also raised a nephew as their own. Pauline has 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
There were plans afoot before lockdown for a big 100th birthday celebrations with Pauline's neighbours, friends and family. When it looked like those plans would have to be abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pauline's landlord, Clanmil Housing, stepped in to help make sure that everyone could still safely be part of Pauline's landmark day.
Working with Pauline's daughter Anita, the Clanmil team organised for swing singer, Harry McGarrity to entertain Pauline and her neighbours from the carpark in front of their apartments. Harry has been volunteering his socially distanced services at care homes over the past weeks, bringing some light relief from self-isolation and helping lift spirits with his repertoire of songs from across the decades.
The Blessington Court neighbours were able to safely enjoy the show from their patios and windows before watching on as Pauline cut her birthday cake. A slice was delivered to everyone's front-door so they could enjoy a treat together.
Pauline was delighted that her neighbours were able to be part of her celebration. She said:
"I've lived through a lot in my 100 years. There have been many ups and downs and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that you just have to be take life as it comes and make the best of every situation. This virus and lockdown are just another bump on the road and I really appreciate how everyone has worked together to make sure I've still been able to have a lovely day. I've lived here at Blessington Court for the past 8 years and I've lovely neighbours. It's been great to see so many of them enjoying the music."
Pauline's daughter Anita O'Connor, said:
"100 years is such a milestone and we were all really looking forward to celebrating with Mum. It's been very hard for her and for the family that we haven't been able to visit over the past weeks, and we hated the thought of her being on her own on such a special day. We really appreciate how Vicky and Linzi at Clanmil have rallied round and found a way to make this happen while everyone stays safe."
Linzi Webb, Good Relations Officer at Clanmil said:
"When we heard about Pauline's 100th birthday celebrations being cancelled we wanted to help. Self-isolation is particularly hard for older people like those who live at Blessington Court but it's vitally important. At all of our older people's schemes, co-ordinators like Vicky are doing what they can to make it a little easier for people.
"For Clanmil, the coronavirus pandemic has meant quickly finding new ways of working so that we can continue safely to provide great homes and the services that our tenants rely on. It's been an absolute pleasure to be part of Pauline's big day."
Singer Harry McGarrity volunteered his services to bring some birthday cheer to Pauline and her neighbours. He said:
"To help spread a bit of joy is something that can't be charged for during these times."
Local Chef Brings Restaurant Experience to Care Home Residents during Lockdown
15 May 2020
While restaurants are closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one local chef is using his time in furlough to treat residents at a care home in East Belfast to some very special dinners.
Chef Andy Forsyth, who works at the Mourne Seafood Bar in Belfast, has kept his apron and toques on during lockdown to volunteer at Clanmil Housing's Giboney House care home on Mount Merrion Avenue for the past 4 weeks.
Andy is putting his culinary skills to good use, cooking up a storm in the Giboney House kitchen, and brightening up mealtimes for the 14 elderly people who live there.
Residents at Giboney House have been isolating from friends and family since lockdown began. The staff have been helping them use video calls to keep in touch with their loved ones and have been encouraging them to take part in activities to keep their spirits up. Andy's fish and chips have quickly become a major highlight in the residents' week.
Andy's fiancee Tammy works as a Senior Carer at Giboney House. He knew through her that this is a particularly difficult time for residents and he wanted to do something to help. He said:
"Every chef or cook knows that food can bring people together. There's a little bit of magic in food and it can bring back fond memories. A simple meal of fish and chips, not forgetting some mushy peas, can remind people of the seaside or simply being with their friends and family. These memories are now more important than ever for people who are missing their regular routines and not able to see their loved ones.'
Danielle Dawson, Home Manager at Giboney House, said:
"The residents are absolutely thrilled to have Chef Andy come in and treat them to some special meals. His food is not only nutritious and delicious, but the residents love being able to tell their families about the restaurant quality meal they've enjoyed that day. They feel very lucky. It's something to look forward to and we all need that during this difficult time."
As well as his famous fish and chips, Andy has been serving up a variety of meals, along with homemade cakes and buns, two days each week at Giboney House.
He's really enjoying his new volunteer role. Andy said:
"I've been getting lots of lovely comments from the staff and residents at Giboney House. It's nice to know that I can bring a little joy through something I normally do every day."
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