Organisers hope to build in Swaffham’s In Bloom success

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Community groups in Swaffham are hoping the success of one of the town’s sheltered housing units will inspire other residents to do more to help their area bloom.

Residents of the Suffield Court complex have been celebrating after they were shortlisted for the best individual or community floral display prize at the Anglia In Bloom awards earlier this month.

Although they did not win the main prize, their efforts also helped the town win a silver gilt in the annual competition.

And, with leadership of the In Bloom scheme now passing to the Town Team, organisers are looking for others to follow their lead in time for next year’s contest.

The group is currently setting up a network of volunteers to maintain their own areas under a Pride in Your Community slogan.

Town Team chairman David Wickerson said: ”The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we now look forward to taking the next steps to move forward.

“The more people we can encourage to take part the better, local residents and businesses alike.”

Suffield Court’s residents received their certificate from town councillor Brenda Bowler last Thursday.

The effort is concentrated on the estate’s courtyard garden, where more able members of the community tend the lawns, pots and borders.

The initiative has been supported by the Iceni Partnership, whose customer liaison officer, Jonathan Reed, said it was intended to be an inclusive project.

He said: “The ethos of this community sums up what is quite a Swaffham thing, where people of all abilities come together with the aim of making their environment a nicer, friendlier place to be.

“It is as much a social thing as anything else, a chance to have a chat over a cup of tea keeping the mind active even if the body is less willing.”

The Iceni Partnership is due to appoint an intern shortly, who will work with the Town Team on preparations for the 2017 competition entry.

The group also staged a young people’s social action group litter pick up along the Bears Lane railway track footpath, which was led by its youth and community officer, Sally Palmer.

Mr Wickerson praised the group for “showing the way” to the rest of the community.