Staff and residents from Hanover Gardens in Bicester have hosted their first intergenerational community fair on Sunday 1 July, thanks to grant funding from Bicester Council.
The fair is thanks to the Hanover Housing Association estate winning a £750 Town Council grant to lay on a special treat for their friends and neighbours in Bicester.
The special occasion was created to thank the local community for the support it showed residents when they were forced to spend Christmas day away from their homes. This was after the river Bure burst its banks in December 2013.
The community fair is largely thanks to estate managers Lisa Varndnell and Tracy Dias-Gunawardena. Both have worked tirelessly with residents to transform the flood damaged estate gardens into an ambient sensory garden, capable of hosting the community fair.
Over the years Hanover Gardens has applied for grant funding with varying degrees of success. In previous years the Retirement Housing estate has focused on providing entertainment for residents, such as outings or improvements to the estate’s gardens.
On this occasion, thanks to the efforts of the dynamic estate management team, residents decided that it was time to treat local people who came to their rescue during the floods. Activities provided included music from a local cadet band, exercise classes, face painting and dozens of arts and craft stalls.
In addition the residents have created their own captivating treasure hunt. Based on the American Facebook phenomenon ‘Love On The Rocks’, Hanover residents have painted and hidden dozens of brightly coloured rocks, in the hope that children will smile when they find them.
Estate Manager Lisa Varndnell said: ‘We have seen how much joy our residents get from visiting children so we wanted to create a day to encourage more young families on to the estate. The party is about giving back to the community and bringing young and old together.’