Young volunteers overhaul Stevenage play group's garden

YOUNG volunteers are working with youth charity The Prince s Trust and renovating a play group s gardens to provide an area for children to grow vegetables. The group of unemployed 16 to 25-year-olds are carrying out the work at Stevenage s Bandley Hill P

YOUNG volunteers are working with youth charity The Prince's Trust and renovating a play group's gardens to provide an area for children to grow vegetables.

The group of unemployed 16 to 25-year-olds are carrying out the work at Stevenage's Bandley Hill Play Centre as part of a course designed to help get them into work, training or education.

Amanda Bridgeman, a Hertfordshire police officer who is on secondment as an assistant team leader, said: "The project involves a number of tasks, including landscaping, building a shed and painting fences.

"Many of the materials used are recycled from scrap found at the back of the school.


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"All of the young people are really enjoying working on the project and it is giving them skills they can take into a workplace."

The young people raised �380 to fund the project by carrying out bag packing at a branch of Sainsbury's.

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The project, being run for The Prince's Trust by Watford YMCA, is part of a 12-week development programme for 16 to 25 year olds who are long-term unemployed, have struggled at school, have been in trouble with the law, or have been in care.

The course is based on individual and team challenges in the community and is designed to help improve job prospects for young people through team-building activities, a week-long residential trip, a community project, and a two-week work experience placement.

James Marvell, 18, said he is on the course because he wants to develop new skills and gain confidence.

"Before I started the programme I was doing a painting and decorating course at college, but since I left I have not been able to find a job," he explained.

"The course has been great and it has built up my confidence. I am hoping that when I finish I will get a job."

When the young people have finished the community project at Bandley Hill Play Centre they will complete two-week work experience placements.

If you are interested in joining The Prince's Trust programme, call the charity on 0800 842 842 or visit www.princes-trust.org.uk

THE Arch Aquatic and Plant Centre on Maydencroft Lane in Gosmore is holding a craft fair on Sunday, March 21, in aid of The Prince's Trust.

Entry to the centre will be �2 for adults and free for children, and the event will run from 10am until 4pm.

For more information, call Caroline Howells on 07801 546990.

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