GREEN fingered residents from a Penarth retirement scheme have been shortlisted for a prestigious ‘green’ award in The Sustainable Housing Awards 2014.

Wales and West Housing’s Oak Court residents Paul Clark, David John Brigham and Sandra Thomas were named as finalists in the Sustainable Tenants of the Year category for their pioneering work in the scheme’s gardens.

Over the past 12 months, the group has worked tirelessly to transform the garden.

From a bare grass area just one year ago, the garden is now blossoming with wild flowers, potted plants and a huge variety of fruit and vegetables. Other features include an ornamental garden and wheelchair-friendly patio area.

As well as raising more than £600 for the garden through raffles, bake sales and big breakfasts, the keen gardeners have received help along the way with funding from WWH’s Make It Happen Grant and Environment Fund, as well as support and assistance from WWH staff. The funding has provided a shed, greenhouse and raised bed amongst other garden goods.

The Oak Court gardeners are also the first WWH residents to pioneer an exciting new aquaponics system, again thanks to funding received from WWH. The innovative system sees water from their fish tank recycled in to clean water to feed their growing plants, which, in turn, cleans the water for the fish.

Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive of WWH, said: “We are delighted that the team at Oak Court has been shortlisted for this award. Making a difference to lives, home and communities is what we are all about, and this project is a shining example of this principle in action. We are very proud of them and I wish them the best of luck on the awards night itself when the outright winners will be revealed.”

The Sustainable Housing awards put the spotlight on the best green social housing projects constructed in the UK, and the organisations responsible for them. The trophies will be presented at a ceremony hosted by one of the world’s greatest living explorers, Sir Ranulph Fiennes on Friday, October 17, at the Lancaster London Hotel.

Emma Maier, editor of Inside Housing, the magazine that has organised the awards with its sister publication Sustainable Housing, said: “The awards are in their seventh year, and, once again, we have been inundated with entries from the leading organisations who have been behind the most innovative and impressive projects in the UK. It is a brilliant achievement for Wales and West Housing and Thermal Earth to be shortlisted in the face of such fierce competition. We are thrilled to be able to host the awards ceremony that recognises the work of the housing sector’s sustainable pioneers.”

The sponsors of the awards include: Breyer Group, H + H, Higgins, Keepmoat, SPS envirowall, Sustainable Homes and Wates Living Space.

To find out more about the awards and to vote for Paul, David and Sandra to win the Sustainable Tenants of the Year Award, visit and click on the events section.