More than 200 residents from Oldbury’s Lion Farm Estate flocked to a fun day event organised by Sandwell Council and homes regeneration specialist Lovell.
The giant free gathering, featuring football, other outdoor games, refreshments and craft activities, was held to thank people in the area for their support and cooperation during the major improvement programme which is transforming three of the estate’s 1960s-built high-rise flats.
The Lovell refurbishment team began work last summer on the large-scale internal and external refurbishment programme for Hackwood, Wallace Houses and Harry Price House. Work is now well advanced on upgrading the blocks with new pitched roofs, windows and balcony doors, the installation of fire-resistant insulated external cladding, entrance doors and canopies. The Council’s improvement programme, set for completion early in 2019, also involves fire prevention measures, the installation of new lifts, the redecoration of communal areas at the blocks and the creation of additional car parking and an extensive external landscaping.
Councillor Carol Goult, Deputy Mayor of Sandwell, was among guests at the fun day event. Activities included bricklaying and carpentry demonstrations organised by the Council with Lovell’s training team also on hand to give residents the opportunity to find out more about careers in construction. Local police came along bringing one of their vehicles which proved popular with children while also on hand were Air Cadets 888 Oldbury Squadron who gave a first aid demonstration and painted children’s faces with camouflage cream. Football games were organised by the Goals Soccer Centre in Rowley Regis while Lovell provided three games – balloon burst, test your strength and giant buzzer – which were a big hit with visitors. Community interest company Complete Kidz also organised highly popular games and arts and crafts activities.
The fun day included a visit by the Council’s ECO bus which spreads awareness about recycling and cutting waste. A tombola held during the day raised money for the Black Country Women’s Aid charity. Other organisations supporting the event included Sandwell Vision 2030; Tipton Litter Watch; the Family Information Service, Oldbury; Portway Lifestyle Centre, Oldbury; the Mobile and Home Library Service; St James Church Action Group; Sandwell Motiv8; and Christian charity Loaves ‘N’ Fishes.
Lovell regional refurbishment director Carl Yale says: “It was fantastic to join forces with Sandwell Council and local service teams to show our gratitude to local residents for their help and understanding during the project to refurbish the Lion Farm high rise blocks. This major scheme is bringing about important improvements but inevitably has meant some unavoidable disruption for residents. They’ve been incredibly patient and supportive throughout, so the idea behind the fun day was to bring the residents and community all together to express our appreciation. We were really pleased to see such a large turn-out at the fun day.”