North Hertfordshire Homes’ Community SOS project gives a massive boost to Letchworth’s cherished Howard Garden Social Centre

The grand reveal following the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover.

The grand reveal following the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover. - Credit: Archant

A cherished Letchworth social and day care centre that has been flooded twice in the last year and a half is now looking totally spick and span following a ‘Community SOS’ revamp by volunteers.

A volunteer at work during the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover.

A volunteer at work during the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover. - Credit: Archant

Lorna Kercher, chair of the Howard Garden Social Centre committee, said she and her colleagues were ‘eternally grateful’ for the makeover carried out by North Hertfordshire Homes staff last Wednesday – following which the site boasts some fresh paint, shiny new furniture and cleverly wall-mounted pallets holding flowers.

Care organiser Liz Allen said afterwards: “I didn’t think it could ever look this good. The reception looks so welcoming when you come in now.

“I just know the garden area is going to get used a lot more now. It’s amazing.”

While the work was carried out, the centre’s day care users from the centre were bussed to an NHH flexicare scheme for a meal and some rock ‘n’ roll from Johnny Parish.

Volunteers at work during the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover.

Volunteers at work during the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover. - Credit: Archant


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And the day ended with a grand reveal of just how the centre had been transformed.

Lorna Kercher, chair of Howard Garden Social Centre Committee, said afterwards: “It’s all really fabulous and we’re eternally grateful to the team from North Herts Homes for the work they’ve done here today. I can’t really express in words what I feel for the help they’ve given us.”

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The event was part of a three-day ‘Homefest’ for NHH staff, which also included a showing of 1967 film Cathy Come Home – which changed the face of social housing – a heritage walk around Letchworth, and a concluding mini music festival for staff at Standalone Farm.

Adam Bannister, who co-led the NHH team with Claire Dawson, said: “It’s been an awesome way to give something back to the community.

Volunteers at work during the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover.

Volunteers at work during the Howard Garden Social Centre makeover. - Credit: Archant

“Colleagues volunteered from across the business and rolled their sleeves up right from the beginning.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved together and the comments from the committee and centre users make it all the more meaningful.”

Firms that donated funds or equipment to the project included contracting firm Oakray, Bugler Group housing, Greenacre Recruitment, Buckles Solicitors, Potton Windows, law firm Wright Hassell, builders Foster & Shackell and interior designers Tina Davies Childs.

For more about the centre see howardgardensocialcentre.org.

To find out more about North Hertfordshire Homes see nhh.org.uk.

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