Garden project helps students to grow new skills

Posted: 21-06-2019 - 58 view(s)

There’s nothing quite like doing your bit to help others, to raise your own confidence and aspirations.

That is certainly what a team of Prince’s Trust students found when they turned their attention to giving back to their community.

Part of the youth charity’s Team project delivered by Stockton Riverside College, the group of unemployed young people from Bishop Auckland helped to transform the garden of a local supported housing group.

Student Daniel, 19, said: “It feels good to be able to make a difference, especially working with an organisation that helps young people.”

The nine-strong team chose to offer a helping hand to the Home Group at Teesdale House.

Finding that the garden area was overgrown and in need of some TLC, it seemed a natural choice for the group who, as part of the 12-week personal development programme, take part in a variety of projects and tasks.

Prince’s Trust Team leader Marc Iveson said: “The community project is a key element of the course as it shows the young people the impact they can have in their own area.”

Planning, organising and carrying out a 10 mile sponsored walk from Middleton-in-Teesdale to High Force, the team raised £205 and the Key Fund gave a further £250 to help cover the cost of the project.

“The garden was overgrown, so a big part of the work was de-weeding the space, digging up the top soil and gravel and laying the anti-weed membrane,” said Marc.

Working through the recent heavy rain, the group planted trees, replanted pots, laid the gravel and also added a new seating area.

Marc said: “The students did really well considering the weather we had. It rained three out of five days so the ground was very wet.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for the young people to give something back, teaching them important skills in things like teamwork and communication.”

Jane Robinson, Client Service Manager at the Home Group, said: “The Prince’s Trust Team have turned what was an overgrown outdoor area into a usable and welcoming space where people would want to relax and spend time.

“They worked tirelessly, including three days in the rain, without a single complaint.”

The Team also practised their negotiation skills and as a result received a helping hand on the project with discounts from JT Atkinson, Fletcher Recycling and the donation of a garden bench from Homebase.

Home Group-Dales Accommodation supports young people age 16 to 35, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, to develop the skills needed to achieve independent living in the community. They offer guidance and support through education, life skills and peer support to enable them to achieve, manage and maintain their own future tenancies.

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