Community gardens boost to Ayrshire after health board joins forces with procurement supplier

St Ninian’s Church Rector and parishioners celebrating the opening of their new community garden with representatives from HP Inc., Scottish Government Procurement and RePollinate
-Credit: (Image: Submitted/Ayrshire Post /)


Service users of two local community groups are now enjoying the benefits of new community gardens, after applying to the NHSScotland Community Benefit Gateway (CBG) for assistance in making their green plans a reality.

The CBG was set up in 2021 to help link NHSScotland suppliers with local community needs.

It is managed nationally by NHS National Services Scotland, and utilised by NHS Ayrshire & Arran, alongside other NHS boards across Scotland.

Recently, bids submitted via the gateway by local community groups St Ninian’s Episcopal Church in Troon and the North Ayrshire Forum on Disability in Saltcoats, were successfully matched to an offer of support from a Scottish procurement supplier HP Inc.– a national framework provider for the provision of laptops, desktop PCs and monitors to the Scottish public sector.

Zoe Fance, Head of Procurement for NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: “This offer from HP Inc. is the latest example of ongoing partnership work across NHS Ayrshire & Arran, to help maximise community and business benefits through procurement. HP Inc. worked with RePollinate, a conservation charity to deliver these new community garden spaces, bringing together expertise and resources to design something that will help service users and the natural environment to thrive.

“It’s another great example of how we can utilise public procurement partnerships in NHS Scotland, to achieve greater economic, social and environmental benefits for those living in Ayrshire and Arran, and we’re delighted with the end results.”

St Ninian’s Episcopal Church garden opened on May 14 providing the church congregation and local community groups with a new garden space complete with accessible pathways, outdoor seating, raised planting beds, a herb garden, gardening equipment, garden storage and a composting system.

The garden will allow church community groups to grow food to be used by the community and enhance the church grounds with wildlife-friendly shrubs and wildflowers, helping to improve biodiversity.

Nicholas Macauley, Strategic Account Manager for Public Sector Scotland- HP Inc. added: “HP Inc. is delighted to support local community projects in Ayrshire through the NHSScotland Community Benefit Gateway Portal. Our partnership with the Scottish Government through our framework agreements enables us to deliver meaningful and lasting sustainability projects to benefit local communities. HP Inc. is committed to delivering projects of similar significance to our communities across Scotland.”

North Ayrshire Forum on Disability in Saltcoats and their users worked with NHS Ayrshire & Arran, HP Inc. and RePollinate, to design and transform their current run down outdoor garden into a new fully accessible area for elderly and disabled users. The garden space, which officially opened on 30 May, has been relayed with easy paving and has high raised planter beds and seating for ease of use by wheelchair users and anyone with mobility issues so they can fully enjoy the outdoor activities and garden therapy.

Pictured are members of the North Ayrshire Forum on Disability, with staff and client users with HP Inc. Also pictured are Sustainability & Print Account Manager Alex Conder and Nick Trull, Ecologist and RePollinate Manager in the new community garden
Pictured are members of the North Ayrshire Forum on Disability, with staff and client users with HP Inc. Also pictured are Sustainability & Print Account Manager Alex Conder and Nick Trull, Ecologist and RePollinate Manager in the new community garden -Credit:Submitted/Ayrshire Post /

Elizabeth Cooke, North Ayrshire Forum on Disability, said: “On behalf of all the service users, volunteers and staff, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the NHS Community Benefits Gateway and to Hewlett Packard for this wonderful opportunity and asset we now have, for our people to use and enjoy.”

To find out more about the NHSScotland Community Benefits Gateway, visit www.nss.nhs.scot

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