A community partnership initiative between Overgate Shopping Centre and Uppertunity, the Dundee-based social enterprise supporting people with learning disabilities is helping to transform a city centre public garden.
Colourful bird boxes, hand painted by adults who are part of Uppertunity, have been installed in Overgate’s William Gardiner Square and are already proving a flying success in attracting small feathered visitors to the garden.
The community partnership with Uppertunity has seen 14 adults hand paint the bird boxes supplied by Overgate and the striking creations are now attached to trees within William Gardiner Square; Overgate’s public garden created in homage to famed Dundee botanist William Gardiner.
Commenting about the initiative, Daniëlle Gaffney du Plooy, Manager at Uppertunity said:
“We were so grateful when Overgate approached us about this project. A key mission at Uppertunity is to empower people with learning disabilities and mental health barriers and this project fulfilled this in a fun, rewarding way.
“We asked our clients to design the bird boxes in themes that make them happy and the end results include summer, the galaxy, love, nature, geometric shapes and sweet treats. It was very much a collaborative team effort and for everyone’s work to now have a permanent space in William Gardiner Square, where the public can enjoy the end results, is really special. I hope people will take the time to look around the garden and view our client’s achievements.”
The installation of the Uppertunity bird boxes is the latest initiative to regenerate William Gardiner Square and help to make the garden an urban oasis of calm. Throughout the year, volunteers from Bonnie Dundee and Dundee and Angus College maintain the garden’s flowers, plants, vegetables and herbs and plans are under way to create the new Dundee Music Hall of Fame in the space later this year.
Speaking about this latest community initiative, Metta Ramsay, Retail Marketing Manager of Overgate said:
“Overgate would like to thank everyone at Uppertunity who has been involved in this bird box project and who took the time to hand paint such wonderful designs.
“The colourful creations have added vibrancy to the trees and there are noticeably more small birds nesting in the area which is helping to promote urban biodiversity.
“We hope visitors to Overgate will take the opportunity to enjoy William Gardiner Square and enjoy the sound of birdsong in one of the seated areas.”
The Overgate Centre, Dundee is owned and managed by Land Securities, the largest commercial property company in the UK.