Rose Court Garden (1)

Residents of a supported living scheme for young people in Hertford have come together to get their garden ready for summer and pick up some new gardening skills in the process.

Published: 29/05/2024

Together, the residents have planted 15 species of flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Cooking for themselves and as a group is a core skill taught to all Rose Court residents. Now they can take pride in foraging for some of their own home-grown produce.  

Not-for-profit housing association Peabody, which runs Rose Court, has also provided the residents with new garden furniture, gardening tools and equipment, and solar lights – encouraging outdoor socialising and transforming the look of the garden.  

This was made possible by Hertfordshire County Council’s grant scheme for homeless people in Hertfordshire and their commitment to improving the lives of Rose Court residents.  

One resident said, “It will be nice to interact with everyone outside in the summer in some nice weather and to socialise outside somewhere that looks nice.” While another commented, “I’m excited to top up my tan in a relaxing environment.” 

For the past decade, Rose Court has given more than 370 16-to-25-year-olds a secure, comfortable place to live, while helping them learn new skills, improve their confidence and open the door to a brighter future.  

The team tailors their support to each resident and understands that many young people facing homelessness have had difficult lives. They give each resident one-to-one assistance with setting goals, while being sensitive to past trauma. If specialist advice is required - whether that be for mental or physical health, education or employment - the team can link the young people with other services. 

Rose Court was named after the late Jacqueline Rose, who dedicated her career to planning youth services in East Hertfordshire. The facility has 28 rooms, each with their own private bathroom. It also has a communal lounge, garden and kitchens that are shared between two. The on-site office enables Peabody’s team to provide 24/7 support.   

Karen Cutler, Project Manager for Peabody’s Young People’s Service, said: “We had a fantastic time getting our hands dirty in the garden with residents, and adding vibrant pops of colour with lots of flowers. It’s had such a positive impact on everyone, and residents tell us the new and improved garden is already boosting their wellbeing.  

“It’s important to us that residents feel comfortable here and proud to call Rose Court home. We’re looking forward to continuing the gardening, teaching new skills and having lots of fun along the way.” 

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