Support for Pateley Bridge community through Millwright Park scheme

This story was published 5 October 2021

Pateley Bridge is a mainstay of North Yorkshire’s famously caring community and developments made possible through a new housing scheme will help to strengthen the bond between residents.

Pateley Bridge library and men's shed

Brierley Homes is behind a new development of 20 homes at Millwright Park, with The HACS Group delivering the construction work.

Part of Brierley Homes’ philosophy is to contribute to the communities where they provide housing and alongside The HACS Group have come up with initiatives to benefit the whole community in Pateley Bridge.

Both schemes will help to reduce the stresses on mental health, an issue which has become increasingly recognised in recent years and particularly so during the Covid-19 pandemic, and they are interconnected.

The move comes ahead of World Mental Health Day, which is intended to put an international focus on the issue.

Brierley Homes has organised a new shelving system for a jigsaw library at Nidderdale Community Hub, where the town’s regular library is housed. The jigsaw library has proved hugely popular during the lockdown periods and increasing numbers of puzzles have been donated, with stocks rising to around 250, though until the shelving was installed there was no formal storage available.

Now that is in place, it has meant the library has been able to catalogue the jigsaws properly, providing an improved service for the community. The work was done by volunteers who attend Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge Men’s Shed, a group which meets to pursue their hobbies, focusing largely around woodworking and similar workshop skills.

The charity was set up to improve companionship and well-being among men and The HACS Group has also donated a stockpile of timber and other raw materials to help them continue their endeavours.

Matt O’Neill, Director at Brierley Homes, said: “Our objective is always to support the community in areas where we work. We are a responsible developer and it is important to us that we work in this way.

“Both the jigsaw library and Men’s Shed have obvious benefits for the community in Pateley Bridge and we are delighted to be supporting two fantastic initiatives.”

The HACS Group Commercial Director, Eddie Ashworth, said: “Mental health is an important issue and something we take seriously, with a large proportion of our work force being male, men’s mental health particularly is something we are more than happy to support in the local community.

“As a contractor, it seemed appropriate to provide materials which members of the Men’s Shed can use to enjoy their hobbies and improve practical skills that can also benefit their community.”

Volunteers at the shed will also be commissioned to make bat and bird boxes, along with ‘bug hotels’, which will be installed at Millwright Park as the development, due for completion next spring, progresses.

Alan Cottrill, a trustee at the Men’s Shed, said: “A key driver of the group is providing a renewed sense of purpose and belonging among men who have retired, are experiencing redundancy or are not employed because of other reasons.

“So we were really pleased to become involved in this work, which is great for our members and benefits their families and the wider community and we are grateful to Brierley Homes and HACs for their support.”

Helen Flynn, Executive Director at Nidderdale Plus Community Hub, added: “Our jigsaw library has been increasingly popular and now we have proper shelving, it helps visitors to see what we have in stock and has also helped us set up a cataloguing system. It is a great development and I would thank all those involved.”

Millwright Park will feature 20 homes, including two, three and four bedroomed houses, with four of those being available as affordable homes.

Brierley Homes is North Yorkshire County Council’s housing development company, which sits within the Brierley Group, the trading arm of the council. The group was established in 2017 to bring together council-owned companies with the aim of improving front line services.

The group offers services within North Yorkshire and beyond. Other companies in the group are Align Property Partners, First North Law, NYnet, Yorwaste, Veritau, NY Highways, North Yorkshire Education Services and NY Tech.