Wantage-based community action group benefits from developer’s Community Champions scheme


Sustainable Wantage - A wantage-based community action group -  benefits from Persimmon Homes’ Community Champions scheme.
Sustainable Wantage – A wantage-based community action group – benefits from Persimmon Homes’ Community Champions scheme. Image: Picture of cheque presentation Jo Harvey (left)

A Wantage-based community action group with sustainability at the core is the latest beneficiary of Persimmon Homes’ Community Champions scheme.

Sustainable Wantage – one of over 80 similar CAGs across Oxfordshire that focuses on activities that protect and enhance the natural environment and strengthen the local community – secured a £2,000 donation to help them in their work from the developer’s Wessex business.

The cheque was presented to Jo Harvey, the group’s sustainability coordinator, at Persimmon’s Wellington Gate site at Grove Airfield, one mile northwest of Wantage, where Persimmon is building 2,500 new high-quality homes for local people. Two to four-bed houses are currently for sale, with prices starting from £254,995.

When complete, the development will include a primary and secondary school, shops, community and civic spaces, cycle lanes, pedestrian walkways, playing fields, a community park, link roads, and housing suitable for the elderly.

The Sustainable Wantage scheme that will be supported through the donation is their Wild Wantage project. Wild Wantage works to transform green spaces, promoting the biodiversity of local species and encouraging everyone in the community to get involved. Sustainable Wantage also runs:

  • The Mix Community Space on Mill Street: the group’s home in the town centre, which is open 3 days a week for The Mix Community Fridge, refills of toiletries & detergents, recycling with the Terracycle scheme, monthly Repair Cafes, workshops and courses. 
  • Wantage Community Larder: A membership scheme providing surplus food to local residents
  • The Wantage Market Garden Project in Charlton: a community garden the group supports as a partnership project.
  • Pewit Plantation: a small woodland near the Ridgeway that the group is managing via a lease with the Woodland Trust. It is open to the public to enjoy the space and wonderful view.
  • Top Lock Meadow on Mably Way: Wildflowers are the focus of an ongoing project to create a haven for wildlife. This is one of the Sustainable Wantage Growing Projects supported by volunteers and aimed at enhancing local biodiversity.

The five-star builder employs over 5,000 people directly and supports over 80,000 jobs in the supply chain, and its long-established Community Champions programme sees over £700,000 spent on good causes across Britain each year. Recent local recipients include Julia’s House Children Hospice.

Commenting, Persimmon Homes Wessex’s Sales Director, Pauline Fletcher, said: “Persimmon is proud to support the schemes of Sustainable Wantage through our Community Champions initiative.

“Our business is committed to improving the local environments in which we operate – our homes are becoming increasingly greener as is the way we operate, demonstrated in our net zero targets.

“Thanks to the work of Sustainable Wantage, the hundreds of families and future generations that will occupy Wellington Gate will be able to benefit from all the advantages their schemes bring.”

Jo Harvey of Sustainable Wantage added: “We’re very grateful to Persimmon for their donation, which will help Wild Wantage work in more local spaces, improving habitats for nature and creating an even richer, healthier and more beautiful place to live.

“As a volunteer-led organisation, we rely on the good will of people across the town to help ensure we can preserve key parts of our natural environment and further improve our community, and we hope this donation will get the word out to more people.”

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