Stevenage students' positive environmental impact as part of community project
PUBLISHED: 08:30 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 08 December 2018
Students have taken part in a community project to help them realise the benefits of social action, as well as develop key communication and teamwork skills.
Pupils from Marriotts School and The Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage took part in litter picking in the town’s Fairlands Valley Park as part of a scheme called Play Your Part, led by education charity Yes Futures.
The charity focuses on personal development programmes which empower young people to make ambitious choices and realise their potential through developing their confidence, resilience and life skills.
Play Your Part is one of three trips the students participate in over the five-month Rising Futures secondary school programme run by Yes Futures.
Between trips, the students receive regular one-to-one coaching sessions in school to help them set and reflect on personal goals for the future.
The litter picking was held in conjunction with Stevenage Borough Council.
Yes Futures coach Nina Koesman said: “Everyone was excited, but a little unsure of what to expect.
“Despite the forecast of rain, the students ventured outside and met with Joel, our host from Stevenage Borough Council.
“Joel outlined the detrimental impact of littering to the cosmetic appearance of the park and, more worryingly, the negative impact on the wildlife living in the park.
“Spurred on by this, the students donned their gloves, grabbed a litter picker and rubbish bag and began.
“Most students had never picked litter before but, because of the tools, working alongside friends and being able to wander about in the beautiful wooded area, most enjoyed the activity.
“Some students became really competitive and made a game out of who could fill up the biggest bag, or find the strangest item.
“We collected about eight bags of rubbish in total and were rewarded with a break indoors and warming hot chocolate.
“After our break, Joel took us all on a guided walk around the Millennium Lake and told the students all about maintaining the park, the vegetation, the animals and how the park is being used by the community.
“The students then had the opportunity to ask Joel questions.
“All in all it was a meaningful but exhausting day for everyone.”