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Volunteers build legacy for whole community

Six volunteers have pitched in to improve community green spaces as well as their own prospects.  They were joined by guests to celebrate their achievements at an event at Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School on Tuesday 12 September.

They took part in the Green Team, an employment and skills project run by community charity Groundwork Hertfordshire in partnership with Network Homes.  Over the past 14 weeks, the Green Teamers have planted up the newly-landscaped section of the public playing fields at Hertford Heath and have installed new features in the grounds of Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School.

The event gave the team the chance to show off their work. They created a new work area outside one of the classrooms, with raised growing beds, seating and extra work surfaces. Within the school’s woodland, the team replaced a fence and renovated a shed that will become a play area for pupils.

On top of this valuable practical experience, the Green Team volunteers worked towards qualifications to help boost their job prospects: City & Guilds Level 1 Diploma in Practical Horticulture, City & Guilds Level 1 Award Employability Skills and Functional Skills in English and Maths.

Matt Sutcliffe, Groundwork’s Employment Project Tutor, said: “We’ve had a couple of lovely sites to work on during this project. The planting the team did at the playing fields is a great legacy for them to leave for the community, and being able to add to the educational experience of the pupils at Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School has been a great motivation. Well done team!”

Jackie Trundell, Head of Neighbourhood Services at Network Homes, said: “We’re pleased to fund the Green Team project again this year.  It’s a fantastic initiative and gives local people the opportunity to develop new skills, gain work experience and improve their employment opportunity.  Network Homes believes in building thriving communities, so it’s great to see what the volunteers have achieved over the last 14 weeks and the difference they’ve made to their community.”

Alison Richards, Headteacher at Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School, said: “We are delighted and really grateful that an underused area has been transformed into an exciting growing area for the children and that our Forest School area has been further enhanced and made safe by this great team. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the whole team.”

The Green Team, Groundwork staff, partners and guests gather in front of the new fence the team constructed at Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School

The Green Team, Groundwork staff, partners and guests gather in front of the new fence the team constructed at Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School.