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House gardens across the western and northern suburbs of Adelaide are blooming, as community housing tenants showed off their green thumbs in the inaugural AnglicareSA Gardening Competition.

Introduced in September 2019, the competition aims to promote pride in the community – tackling social isolation and engaging tenants with their neighbours.

For years, AnglicareSA tenants Lorraine and Phil have dug deep to produce the incredible spectacle that is their front garden.

“We get busses coming down the street admiring our front garden, and people, especially families from the local school at the end of the road making comments as they walk past,” Lorraine said.

“We love doing it for the community – it gives you a lot of peace, sense of achievement and it’s affordable for us to do.”

Photo: Lorraine and Phil took out the AnglicareSA Award for Best Lawn.

Since being in her AnglicareSA home, tenant and NDIS client Cindy has been inspired to grow her own fruit and vegetables.

Cindy now has everything from broccoli and cabbage to chives thriving in her backyard.

“I wanted to do something that would get me outside in the fresh air and encourage me to quit smoking,” she said.

“I also wanted to live more sustainably by reducing my trips to the shops.”

Photo: Cindy won the AnglicareSA Award for Best Produce Garden.
Photo: Cindy’s garden beds — before and after.

AnglicareSA Community Development Coordinator Leonie Fuchs said her team have been delighted with the enthusiasm and skill displayed by the almost 30 tenants who participated in the competition.

“It’s so heart-warming to see the passion and hard work of our tenants to not just maintain their properties but to go above and beyond in nurturing their yards,” she said.

“This competition is just one of our many initiatives bringing neighbours together and celebrating tenants making the effort to brighten their community.”

In 2017, Housing SA transferred 736 homes like Cindy’s in the Woodville area to AnglicareSA to manage as part of the Renewing our Streets and Suburbs (ROSAS) housing transfer.

Following on from the success of our community engagement activities in the north of Adelaide, this year AnglicareSA established a community development program in the Woodville region to connect with the more than 1,300 tenants.

This portfolio includes 70 Aboriginal tenancies and tenants from more than 20 diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Photo: In October, AnglicareSA was involved in the Findon Spring Fair, attracting more than 450 locals.

AnglicareSA’s dedicated community development team lead events and social groups that promote engagement, connection and safety.

“Coming from diverse backgrounds and circumstances, a lot of our tenants lack the confidence and the knowhow to connect with others and form strong relationships,” Fuchs said.

“Our priorities are to tackle social isolation and increase opportunities for tenants to be involved in place-making activities and skill development. Helping them to build a sense of community is crucial in ensuring everyone has the chance to lead their best life.”