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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Welly Road Gets the Boot in!

The "Welly Road Gets the Boot in!" project is to make a community focus for Wellington Road (Oxton, Wirral). Neighbours, businesses and local organisations will be encouraged to join in creating planters from donated recycled Wellington Boots to go outside local businesses and individual houses on the street to beautify Wellington Road and integrate all aspects of the neighbourhood.

The planters will be created by the community from Wellington boots donated by request to the Green Community Shop and Centre (GCS&C) and requests on Freecycle. The project co-ordinator, local artist Alison Bailey Smith has designed wooden structures to be created from recycled pallets by The Cornerstone Vocational Training Centre for the shops for each of the businesses plus Birkenhead School and the Green Community Centre & Shop. Each house will be offered the opportunity to plant a pair of welly boots to display on their property and those unable to plant themselves will have wellys planted for them (if they want to be involved). The boots will be planted by the neighbours, members of the Green Community Shop and Centre in Oxton Village,  Birkenhead Woodcraft Folk who meet in Christ Church at the botttom of Christchurch Road in Oxton, the children of Birkenhead School, local businesses and will also draw on the artistic skills of Wirral based arts network- With These Hands. The project would initially be opened in time for the Sunday of the Secret Gardens of Oxton in May 2012. The planters will not be removed at the end of the festival and can remain in situ. The plants where possible will be chosen to reflect the nature of the business (ie grasses for the hairdressers and herbs for the Coffee shop)

Wellington Road and surrounding streets have suffered a number of burglaries earlier this year and this project is being supported by Merseyside Police Property Act Fund and Your Wirral to improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood. Neighbours and business will create a community bond by working together on this project, through having a mutual goal to beautify the street. If the householders, tenants and businesses are familiar with their immediate neighbours, it is easier to be aware when activities appear to be out of the ordinary and also to know who to contact it you suspect something is wrong. The Green Community Shop and Centre will become a collection point for wellies, donated plants and a place for volunteers to sign up to help with the project. Birkenhead school have offered assistance with providing space for the neighbours to plant the wellies, as well as collecting welly boots.

The grant money is being used to purchase plants and soil from the Wirral autistic society's Garden Centre at Bromborough Pool, and the creation of planters/tiered platforms  by Cornerstone Vocational Training in Birkenhead (the wooden structures to support the Wellington boots outside the businesses). They are committed to working with young people 14 -19 years of age offering a range of vocational courses designed to develop confidence, self esteem along side vocational skills. 

Finally, just a little bit about us,
The Green Community Shop and Centre (GCS&C) is a not-for-profit community endeavour, based on the values of co-operation, sustainability and local participation.  GCS & C aims to empower people to take responsibility and make decisions about resources, life choices and community action, based on an awareness of themselves and the local and global communities. The GCS&C has always actively encouraged community projects from members which create community involvement and environmental awareness.

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