Volunteers on new community park build qualifications


Following the successful pilot of its Green Team initiative in Cambridgeshire this summer, EDGE partner Groundwork East is recruiting a new team of people to work on the first community park at Alconbury Weald.  

Volunteers for the Green Team will have the opportunity to learn new skills, gain qualifications and improve their employment prospects while helping to create allotments and build a skate park for new residents and the local community to enjoy.

The project is part of Alconbury Weald’s commitment to use the development of the former airfield site to provide employment opportunities for local people. Green Team was developed as an initiative to help people gain experience and be job-ready for careers in landscaping and construction.

Volunteers will work with Whiting Landscapes to gain experience in practical horticulture, landscaping, timber construction, concreting, fencing, planting, hedging and laying turf.  This will be supplemented by skills and employability training from Groundwork and, on completion, participants can achieve Level 1 Diploma in Practical Horticulture and functional skills in English and Maths.

Andrea Finbow, EDGE Advisor and Employment and Community Project Supervisor for Groundwork East, said: “Groundwork has a strong track record of using landscape projects to give people the experience, confidence and qualifications to find their first job or get back into work.

“St Neots was our first project in Cambridgeshire and was a great success. Those who took part felt a real sense of achievement from seeing their work make a real difference to the Riverside area.  It also helped them maintain a regular routine, work as part of a team and gain valuable skills and qualifications, which put them in a good place to get a job going forward.

“We involve local companies at every stage - from practical experience to help with mock interviews and employability tips - so that, throughout the course, team members have the chance to build links with local businesses. This will be especially true on the Alconbury Weald project where the team will work alongside Urban&Civic’s contractors and will be able to have mock and real interviews for jobs coming up on site.“

EDGE is a jobs and skills partnership that works with Alconbury Weald, and businesses in the region to help local people find work and help businesses recruit and develop staff.  

Rebecca Britton, Communities and Partnerships for Urban&Civic, said: “We are delighted that the next Green Team will be helping create our first community park.  The volunteers will learn new skills from experienced professionals and will be working on an exciting green project at Alconbury Weald that will provide new residents with a range of recreational facilities.”

To be considered for the Green Team initiative, volunteers needs to be in receipt of benefits, able to commit to four days a week (10.30am to 3pm) for 14 weeks and be prepared to work outside and undertake training to achieve their qualifications.

More information will be available at the three recruitment days being held at Huntingdon JobCentre from 10am to 4pm on the 5th, 13th and 20th December 2016 or contact Andrea Finbow on 07736 132497 or email andrea.finbow@groundwork.org.uk.  

The induction day for the new Green Team is scheduled for 5 January 2017 at the EDGE shop and the project is due to start on 10 January 2017.

December 12, 2016