Community Howard Estate Green Hearts group recognised for their ‘outstanding achievement’

A local community group has received an award for outstanding achievement award from Bury In Bloom.

The Howard Estate Green Hearts group, which now has around 100 members, was started by local resident Johnny Chandler. It was originally created around the concept ‘safe to knock’ scheme which meant that residents who displayed a green heart in their window were there to help out any time people needed it.

The ‘Green Hearts’ expanded and evolved into a group that are very active in their community when it comes to helping and over the past few months have spent most weeks litter picking or tidy up communal spaces and the streets.

Bury St Edmunds Town Mayor Peter Thompson presents Johnny Chandler and other founder members: Scarlett Brabrook, Aaron Goodman, Liam Hayes with the award as well as Naomi Hamer who nominated the group for the award. Photo provided by the Green Hearts

The group was nominated for the award by local resident Naomi Hamer. She said “I saw that Bury in Bloom were doing community achievement awards and it was a no brainer really. The amount of work all the green hearts on the estate have been doing is amazing.”

“It is truly bringing people together whilst doing something visually positive for the community.”

The award presented to the group by Mayor Cllr Peter Thompson.

The ‘Green Hearts’ are now organising their Christmas care packages for vulnerable and less fortunate residents on the Howard and Mildenhall estate. The group has also received confirmation that a new outdoor playground gym to be built in early 2021 that they so passionately fought for.

The founder of the Howard Estate Green Hearts, Johnny Chandler, says the he has a strong belief that community engagement is crucial. He believes that if you include children in community projects and helping vulnerable residents you will gain a mutual understanding of respect, and in turn they will grow up knowing the adults around them. Doing this is also believed to reduce anti-social behaviour in younger members of the community by giving them a focus and break down any unhelpful stereotypes held by older members of the community. Creating an all-round closer nit community.