The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the importance of community into sharper focus as individuals and groups go to extraordinary lengths to support their neighbourhoods.
Joe Moorat, Chair of the Greenland Residents' Association, was in the medically vulnerable group during Covid and self-isolated for 14 months. Despite this he kept the Residents Association Facebook page up and running sharing government and NHS advice about the pandemic. Over 140 residents belong to the group which provides information and signposting to local support.
As well as this, Joe regularly mowed the green spaces on Tavy road to ensure the estate looked better and encouraged other residents to look after the green areas. Having lived in Greenland for over 16 years, he has been determined to improve the local area, including getting funding for community noticeboards so residents not online were not excluded from local information.
With the help of other residents’ association members and his wife, Joe organised the painting of community benches and installed planters at Plym Crescent Play Area and has supported families to improve the car park in Tamar Avenue. A local carpenter, Luke Green (LG carpentry) made and donated a picnic bench for the play area to improve it further.
Joe Moorat said: “I only do what I do to try and help the community and provide them with a better, cleaner and greener place to live. “I took the opportunity to go outside during lockdown and improve the local green areas, I have carried this on throughout.
“We need to build up community relations again and get people together, I feel really positive about the future of the group.
“I am hoping that we can get together and meet again then we can get things back to normal. I went up to the play area the other day and spoke to some of the people using it, it was great to hear their positive feedback about the changes we have made. It feels good to give something back to the local community.”
Alison Knight, Community Connector at LiveWest, said: “Joe really cares about his local community and it is infectious as he persuades other residents to get involved and invest in the local community.”
“He is a huge driving force behind change in the area as well as a few key other residents who are collectively putting their energy into bringing the community together and improving the estate.”
Greenlands is a neighbourhood in focus for LiveWest, and after listening to residents, LiveWest have secured £200,000 funding to improve the flats.
As well as supporting the launch of the Residents’ Association LiveWest have been improving the community play area with new goals and a basketball hoop. The LiveWest Community Stars awards run on a quarterly basis and include two categories.
One is open to individuals and the other to community groups. The awards recognise the efforts being taken to benefit LiveWest’s communities. In the next round you can nominate yourself or someone else you feel deserves special recognition.
LiveWest will award its quarterly Community Star individual winners with a £50 Love to Shop voucher, while issuing £100 for the quarterly winners in the community groups section.
The money can be used to develop the services they are providing for the community. All nominations will be recognised on the LiveWest Website.
Leanda Flower, Community Investment Manager for LiveWest, said: “The Community Stars awards recognise acts of kindness and community spirit and demonstrate the lengths these fantastic people go to in order to support others.
“We want to hear more of these stories, and we are encouraging people to continue to nominate their community hero for our next set of awards in September.”
LiveWest’s customer InFocus group will be selecting the quarterly winners in both the individual and community groups categories.