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This is the non competitive category of the RHS Britain in Bloom Campaign and is ideal for any group taking the first steps towards community improvements. Any group (defined as more than one person!) eager to make a difference to their local environment, whether a few neighbours keen to tackle local litter, or a larger action group determined to turn-around a problem ‘grot spot’ or eyesore is eligible to enter.

North West in Bloom are delighted with the standards achieved by our neighbourhood entrants since this category was introduced in our region in 2006 and the increase in groups taking part.

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Getting involved is very easy, in fact, you only need 2 things:

1.  A group (2 or more people!)
2. An idea for a project.

 

Once you have these things, you are ready to get started!

It’s Your Neighbourhood is all about bringing members of the community together to make a positive change to the place they live, work or spend their leisure time. Groups participating in the campaign are asked to focus on its three key themes of:

  •  Community Participation (40% of marks)

  •  Environmental Responsibility (30% of marks)

  •  Gardening Achievement (30% of marks)

 

While participating groups are not judged against each other, they are visited by environmental and horticultural “in Bloom” experts, who provide valuable feedback and helpful advice on how to develop current activities and encourage ongoing improvements.

This is an important step in extending the “in Bloom” ethic to localities that have been neglected, or to new potential entrants who aspire to improve their local environment.

The Neighbourhood Awards are non competitive, welcoming groups taking the first steps towards community regeneration.

Based on the assessment visit, each community will receive an RHS certificate of achievement reflecting the extent to which participants have met the It’s Your Neighbourhood aims as encompassed in the three core pillars.

 

There are five levels of achievement in It’s Your Neighbourhood:

  •  Establishing

  •  Improving

  •  Developing

  •  Thriving

  •  Outstanding

 

Groups who have done consistently well over time may be nominated to receive the It’s Your Neighbourhood National Certificate of Distinction. Representatives will receive their certificates at the North West in Bloom Presentation ceremony.

It’s Your Neighbourhood is open to groups of all sizes and with a variety of projects, as long as they are focused on cleaning up and greening their local area and are:

  •  A group

  •  Hands on

  •  Involved in community gardening

  •  Representative of the community and/or getting input from the community Volunteer led

  •  Sustainable over time

  •  Owned by the community and with the community responsible for the work.

 

Some examples of It’s Your Neighbourhood groups are:

  •  A residents’ group/association

  •  A “friends of” group

  •  A youth group

  •  An alley gate area.

 

Communities involved in ‘Bloom’ create real benefits for their communities as a result of their participation:

  •  Increased resident pride in their local area and true sense of community

  •  Better communication across the whole community on matters of local interest

  •  Stimulation of voluntary work and better co-operation between residents, with the local authority and with local businesses

  •  The involvement of young people in community activities, and the increased co-operation of generations in meeting community goals.

  •  A real reduction in vandalism, graffiti, fly posting and litter

  •  Encouragement of recycling and reduction in waste

  •  Sustainable improvement and conservation benefits to local surroundings that can be built on year to year

 

The regional ‘in Bloom’ Co-ordinator will provide on-going advice and assistance, throughout the community’s participation in the neighbourhoods category.

The spin-off from co-operative effort pays real dividends to the local community:

  •  safe, neighbourhood green spaces

  •  healthy, clean play areas

  •  a new sense of pride

  •  new skills e.g. sowing, propagating, planting

  •  growing of plants

  •  communication of many kinds socialising across age ranges etc.

  •  new horizons~ self-confidence leading to raising of aspirations as new skills are acquired

  •  new sense of responsibility in shared ownership of a renovated environment

  •  satisfaction of working in partnership in a common cause

  •  the fostering of talents previously undiscovered

 

The excitement of this category comes from the neighbourhoods themselves where the challenges are huge and where overcoming problems to bring dreams to reality needs plenty of grit and determination.

 

Communities that register are in one of three categories
Small Neighbourhood (up to 50)
Neighbourhood (51-250)
Large Neighbourhood (251 and over)

 

We hope that many more such local community projects will come forward. The catalyst can be so simple: one householder deciding to put out a planter or window box, one group of neighbours beginning to keep their own street clear of litter and graffiti: one gardener making an impact in a row of pots. From small acorns.....!

Communities are not asked to pay a fee to participate in the Britain in

 

Bloom Neighbourhood Awards category. All Bloom support and advice, literature, judging assessment, feedback and achievement award certificates are free of charge to communities.

 

For further details of the Neighbourhood Awards category, your regional ‘in Bloom’ campaign and competition, or the overall Britain in Bloom campaign, please contact:

 

Chairman
Bill Blackledge
39, Hazelmount Drive
Warton
Nr Carnforth
LA5 9HR

Tel: 01524 733205 
Email: wblackledge2@aol.com

 

Vice Chairman
Brian Whalley
70, Lathom Drive
St Helens
Merseyside
WA11 8JR

Tel: 01744 886452 
Email: brian@whalley5.wanadoo.co.uk

Website:  www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom
Tel: 020 7821 3040