Groundwork Greater Manchester have been working with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) for over 14 years on the Green Team; a programme which helps address the high number of unemployed young people in Rochdale, whilst also tackling unsightly public places.

Since the programme began, the Green Team have completed hundreds of projects, improving community spaces and housing stock throughout the Rochdale borough.

This month, the current team of apprentices completed the 300th Green Team project, transforming an outdoor space at Coomassie Street to improve access for the residents.

The project began in August 2022, when the Green Team and RBH Officers consulted residents about their aspirations for the space.

The nine residents, who share the space, were in agreement that the land needed to be easier to maintain and more accessible, but still be a destination where they could connect. As a result, Groundwork’s Landscape Architects designed the space to include patio spaces, raised planters and upgraded paving.

On the 17th March, residents, the Green Team apprentices and employees from Groundwork and RBH came together to celebrate the work undertaken.

Adam Holt, Land Manager at Groundwork, commented,

“The team have put in a whole lot of work through rain, thunder, snow, and it’s been a real experience for them.

“Over 90% of the Green Team apprentices we’ve supported over the years have gone into full time jobs, which is a really impressive achievement.”

Paul Dockerty, RBH Environment Manager, also added,

“I have again been impressed by the hard work and enthusiasm of the Green Team apprentices Pat, Hazel, and Tom – and their supervisors Laura and Dave.

“They have transformed the area next to the bungalows at Coomassie Street in Heywood into a welcoming usable space. The lovely reaction of the residents says it all. I hope their two-year stints as part of the team help them in their future careers.”

RBH have committed to support the Green Team programme for an additional two years, with new apprentices joining the Groundwork team in May.

Watch our full video about the programme here:

If you’d like to get involved in our Green Teams programme, visit our page and apply here.