Together Housing Group creates employment opportunities with fencing scheme
A large social landlord company was looking to develop an employment programme for their unemployed tenants that would replace rotten timber fencing on its estates. Environmental legislation over recent years had reduced the effectiveness and longevity of timber stain and preservation treatments and so maintenance costs were escalating.
Together Housing group needed a solution that would:
- provide employment opportunities for tenants
- use a product that was easy to work with and install
- improve the appearance of gardens on their estates
- reduce the life costs of the fencing
- be environmentally friendly.
Working with Together Housing Group (THG), we developed a project called New Boundaries. Through the project we renew and maintain the fencing to Together THG properties, and do so with unemployed people who gain valuable work experience, skills and training.
We also undertook a large amount of research to find a product which significantly reduces the long term maintenance costs of fencing on THG estates. As a result, the project uses fencing materials made from recycled plastic. It’s also sourced from a local supplier.
The plastic is manufactured to high quality levels from plastic waste and provides a durable and long lasting solution to fencing. Although more expensive initially than traditional wood products, the plastic requires no maintenance and maintains its structural and aesthetic qualities.
Trainees work with us for a period of between 4 and 8 weeks, depending on their circumstances, and we work closely with Job Centre Plus. Trainees gain work experience and training regarding on-site Health and Safety and fencing construction.
How it made a difference
The project has now seen over 25km of recycled plastic fencing installed to THG properties alone – that’s about 15.5 miles! The fencing won’t need maintenance for 50 years.
We work with around 50 trainees per year, and also employ a number of Apprentice Fencers on the programme.
Residents are delighted with the new fencing and were surprised to learn that it wasn’t made of timber! Together Housing Group has even won awards for the scheme.