Young Marchwood mums splash-out on sheds

Marchwood mums and their children living at Stonewater’s Malthouse Lodge in Long Lane added a splash of colour to their new storage sheds this week by painting them in their favourite hues.

The new sheds and fences were built earlier this year as part of a community project organised by social housing provider Stonewater and painting and decorating contractors Bell Group. Malthouse Lodge currently provides temporary accommodation for single expectant mothers and women with young children who are on the waiting list for permanent council housing.

Stonewater financed the scheme through its community investment fund and worked with Bell Group to help residents paint the sheds and fencing which have provided the mums with much-needed extra storage space and a safe and secure garden area for children to play in.

“The sheds and fences look wonderful now that they have been painted, mine is now a lovely shade of blue,” says Kirsty Jackson, who lives at Malthouse Lodge with her two children. “It has been a pleasure to work with Stonewater and Bell Group who helped us with our painting technique. They were really helpful and always on hand to advise us if we needed guidance. Painting the insects was great fun for everyone and I think we all agree they will make a nice addition to the fences of our home.”

Malthouse Lodge provides eight small one-bedroom apartments with shared kitchen facilities. Until the sheds were built, residents had very limited space to store their belongings.

“We are delighted that so many of our residents enthusiastically took part in painting the new fences and sheds with some mums even volunteering to help their children paint the wooden insects that will be attached to the fencing,” says Stonewater Customer Team Engagement Officer Helen Jones. “It was a really great team-building project which gave us all the opportunity to get to know each other better while doing something fun and creative. We are particularly grateful to our painting experts at Bell Group for sharing their expert painting tips and generously donating the paint for the project.”

"We were delighted to organise the materials in conjunction with Akzonobel Dulux Trade and offer our expertise and assistance on the day,” says Anna Higham, Bell Group Community Investment Manager. “As a family business we value the importance of giving back to the communities we work in, and are proud that this remains at the heart of Bell Group. For over 25 years we have proactively engaged in community events to provide social dividend to our clients and customers. We are very pleased to note we measured a greater sense of 'belonging' in the community following the event at Malthouse Lodge. We can only hope this continues, as well as being replicated in other areas for Stonewater!"