Prince’s Trust renovate garden for school children
Wednesday, 4 November, 2015

Prince’s Trust team 160 at Solihull College & University Centre has worked hard to raise funds to enhance the conservation area at a local school.

The Prince’s Trust programme supports those who are unemployed or are not in education to develop whilst working as a team in the local community. Students improve their leadership and employability skills as well as taking responsibility through fundraising activities, community projects and exciting challenges.

Prince’s Trust Team Leader at Solihull College & University Centre Vanessa Morris has led her team on the most recent project at Cranmore Infant School, Solihull where they were tasked with enhancing the conservation area at the school which is used for a Forest School by children of the school aged between 2-7 years of age. The team then planned the project from start to finish ensuring the children at Cranmore Infant School benefited from their project.

Kieran Scott, team member on the programme, was a key member who championed the project and pitched the original idea to his peers. Kieran said “I was really passionate about this project as I wanted to give the children the chance to be children and have somewhere where they could play and be care free. Everyone can remember how it felt to be care free as a child and we wanted to provide that for these children.” Kieran’s fellow team member Chad Perry added “Something like this could have benefited me when I was at school so it’s good to see the children excited about it.”

In order to complete the project the Prince’s Trust Team had to raise the funds to be able to complete the project and to do this they completed a sponsored swim, a bag packing day in a local Tesco Supermarket as well as a car wash at Solihull College. The team raised a total of £411.96 which together with a generous donation of £560 worth of materials from EH Smith Builders Merchants Charitable Trust and £120 raised by Cranmore Infant School’s cake sale, the team was able to purchase all the necessary items to transform the garden.

The team, which consisted of 12 young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 and from a variety of backgrounds, embarked on their 12 week programme in the hope of learning new skills. Many of the young people explained they have developed in confidence, improved their communication and team work skills and have learnt many new life skills that without the support of Prince’s Trust they would not have had the opportunity to do.

The team worked extremely hard by clearing brambles, painting fences and a bridge, creating a mud kitchen and building a bird hide, where the children can bird watch, all before the grand opening on Tuesday 3rd November. The team stated that individually the project would have been very difficult but by working together they have been able to achieve as working as a team makes it much easier.

The Mayor of Solihull attended the official opening of the garden and the children and teachers at Cranmore Infant School were excited to see their new Nature Area. Prince’s Trust team member Mandip Singh Ahluwalia said “It’s great to show how well we’ve done, show the blood, sweat and tears that went into the project and see that all our hard work has paid off.”

The team have now started the next stage of their programme which involves a 2 week work placement at a variety of employers. Upon completion of the programme all of the young people are hoping to find work in various different sectors including counselling, engineering, administration and getting involved in Prince’s Trust as Team Leaders themselves.

Rosie Dyas, who now works on the Prince’s Trust programme alongside Team Leader Vanessa, completed the programme herself a few years ago before volunteering on the programme as a mentor and now works for Solihull College. Rosie stated “Prince’s Trust has turned my life around. I really enjoy working on the project for Solihull College as I can relate to the young people on the programme and I can help them to get on the right path. It’s a really positive experience.”

For more information on the Prince’s Trust programme at Solihull College & University Centre visit the Prince’s Trust page or visit the open days on Saturday 28th November or Wednesday 2nd November.