Community values #MadeInSandwell: Dartmouth Park sensory garden saved

Dartmouth Park is a historic Grade II listed park located between West Bromwich town centre and Sandwell Valley. There is a range of activities on offer within the grounds for all visitors, including a play area, ornamental lakes, gym equipment, floral displays, a community pavilion with viewing tower, and a sensory garden.

In July this year, during the first lockdown, the Friends of Dartmouth Park community group asked Sandwell Council if there was any assistance available to help restore parts of the sensory garden that had been damaged.

The garden includes a wooden pergola but over time the pillars had started to break away due to damage and weather that had caused them to rot at the base.

Friends of Dartmouth Park is a community group that actively contributes to the management and upkeep of the park and arranges various activities there. It had received funding for materials needed to repair the pergola but still needed help with the labour for the project.

As luck would have it, the council’s community benefits officer Karen Richards had been approached by local company Currall Lewis and Martin Construction Ltd (CLM). The firm was looking to support a social value initiative to help put something back into the community.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to match up both requirements and preserve an open community space to be enjoyed by all.

Oldbury based, Currall Lewis and Martin Construction has a proud heritage of civil engineering in the Midlands region and beyond. It recently celebrated 150 years in the construction industry and believes firmly in supporting the local community.

Ron Pinfield, managing director of CLM said: “In these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to support organisations where possible. Currall Lewis and Martin are delighted to have been able to help the Friends of Dartmouth Park and to support the local community where we have operated for over 150 years.”

A representative for Friends of Dartmouth Park Annette Welch said: “The Friends of Dartmouth Park have struggled this year to raise funds to maintain our beautiful sensory garden used by so many disabled people. We were desperate to get essential repair work done to the pergola in the garden. CLM offered their help and did a wonderful job for us. We can’t thank them enough.”

The work in the sensory garden was completed in October so it can now be enjoyed again by all of the local community.

This project is a great example of the community pulling together in tough times to make sure our local heritage is maintained. Thank you to all who contributed to make this outcome happen – keep up the good work!