A garden makeover has seen confidence grow in spades for a team of unemployed young people pitching in for their surrounding community.
The group, who are all taking part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme, delivered by Stockton Riverside College, have given their time and effort to restore a community space for the Catterick Army Welfare Service.
Clearing the area, restoring and replanting raised beds and generally reviving the lacklustre gardens, Prince’s Trust Team leader Chris Barnes said: “It has been a big job but the young people have all stepped up to the challenge.
“It has taken a lot of hard work and there’s still more to do but all of the team are proud of the difference they have made.”
Added to that he said comes the satisfaction of knowing their efforts will benefit service personnel, veterans and their families – a cause close to both his own heart, as a former RAF officer, and that of assistant Team leader and army veteran, Seveci Navelinikoro.
Giving the garden an Alice in Wonderland Theme, Chris explained: “We thought it would be a nice idea for the families if we gave the garden a bit of a theme, said Chris. “We have loosely based it on the story of Alice and Wonderland with the signage and lots of bright bold colours.”
Cutting the ribbon on the refurbished garden at a special launch event on Friday was Catterick Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan.
Prince’s Trust Team member Ben Cox, 21, of Richmond, said: “It has been a tough challenge but we really enjoyed it. The project has brought us closer together as a group. We are now like a little family.”
Of working to provide a garden for the families of service personnel, he added: “It feels amazing and unbelievable. It feels good to know we are helping the community.”
Kelly Richardson, Welfare Support Officer with the Army Welfare Service, said: “It will be amazing to see the gardens in use again by the community. It is an area that was once much loved but has fallen into rack and ruin.
“The young people have being going great guns to completely clear and restore the space and return it to a community garden that can once again be used and loved.”
The Prince’s Trust Catterick Team programme is a 12-week personal development scheme delivered by Stockton Riverside College that offers unemployed young people aged 16 to 25, the chance to develop new skills by taking part in a series of tasks and challenges working as a team.
For more details about the Team programme or how you can get involved visit www.stockton.ac.uk/princes-trust/ or call 01642 865589.
Catterick Army Welfare Service delivers a welfare, support and information service for service personnel, their families and communities.