Case study: L&Q housing association
L&Q Housing Association
Elderly housing association residents are helping beat climate change with our EverGreen project.
Global Action Plan began working in partnership with L&Q housing association in September 2008 on a year long project called EverGreen.
What is EverGreen?
EverGreen is an innovative project, designed to change the behaviour of residents from six elderly sheltered housing schemes in Greenwich. The approach increases environmental awareness amongst residents, reduces energy use and tackles fuel poverty.
Watering and weeding
A great success of the project has been engaging the residents in reclaiming their gardens and growing their own vegetables. EverGreen responded to residents who wanted to get back to nature by providing them with equipment to suit their needs.
Many residents were interested in getting involved but were physically restricted- we helped by providing raised planting beds made from reclaimed wood. They have been growing flowers and vegetables and spending more time in the garden than ever before.
It’s getting me out in fresh air, it’s getting me that human contact with people which is making my whole mental and physical attitude better.
Resident, L&Q housing association
Residents have also gained a more holistic insight in to gardening. From teaching sessions given by experienced gardeners, to healthy cooking demonstrations using seasonal food.
No age limit
EverGreen is designed to ensure residents of all ages and abilities can get involved. Running environmental craft activities is one of the most successfully inclusive ways to engage residents whilst introducing important environmental messages. Mosaic making from reclaimed and recycled materials has been particularly popular with elderly residents.
What I thought was really nice was that we had a lady of 95 joined in with the mosaic making class who actually really loved it.
Support worker, L&Q housing association, Greenwich
Essential to Evergreen’s success is its ability to adapt and respond to a particular audience. The residents in Greenwich have enjoyed screenings and discussion of films with environmental messages; quizzes covering energy and water use and increasing knowledge of climate change. Sessions have included recycling bingo, which focused on recycling right and shopping intelligently as well as speakers on ethical issues including Fairtrade.
Monitoring the impact of Evergreen is integral to the project, we set high targets for CO2, energy, water and financial savings, we aim to reduce waste and also evaluate against key social indicators. We find increased involvement in our project and increased residents satisfaction goes hand in hand. Katy Winkworth, Evergreen Project Officer in Greenwich