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St Petrock's planter project

Published: 29 July 2020

St Petrocks Planters St Petrock's planter project

Rough sleepers and homeless people have been enjoying a project to bring colour to Exeter city centre.

St Petrock's planter project has been declared a success and helped those suffering as a result of the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’.

Exeter City Council helped get the initiative underway by giving the charity a £500 Community Grant.

A delighted Project Manager, Mel Hartley, said she was very grateful to the Council for the grant: “The planters are already starting to brighten up the local area,” she said.

The barrel-style planters have been planted up with a range of herbs, colourful flowers, vegetables and even some acer trees.

“As well as improving the aesthetics of the surroundings, the project has proved therapeutic for some of our homeless clients who have struggled during lockdown,” added Mel.

“Several people who were placed in temporary hotel accommodation at the beginning of lockdown are now enjoying involvement in watering and ongoing maintenance of the planters.

“The project has provided welcome encouragement to clients and staff, as we continue to adapt our housing and homelessness services in light of the Covid-19 crisis.”

St Petrock’s rough-sleeper team have been working closely with local partners to co-ordinate supplies and ongoing support, both for people in temporary accommodation and for new rough sleepers in the city.

The centre’s kitchen is preparing takeaway-style meals for daily delivery to clients in local hotels, as well as for those attending St Petrock’s.

Elsewhere, St Petrock’s housing teams are continuing to support clients in supported housing projects and private rented accommodation scheme to help them sustain their accommodation.

“We have increased the capacity of our specialist welfare support service, in order to support people who may require additional support in establishing benefit claims in the current financial climate. Meanwhile, our mental health clinics with a clinical psychologist are now operating remotely,via Zoom.”

Cllr Amal Ghusain, Lead Councillor for Equalities, Diversity and Communities, said: “I am delighted that the project has taken off and provided such a welcome distraction during these difficult times. It’s great to see local communities benefiting from these grants.”

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