Group improves local park whilst boosting their employment prospects.

Yesterday (26 October 2021) saw six volunteers complete the Natural Neighbourhoods course in Huntingdon and be awarded their City and Guilds Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture.

This course, which is the second of three to be delivered throughout Cambridgeshire has been running for 12 weeks, and has seen the participants improve Riverside Park in Huntingdon, and yesterday they were presented with their certificates alongside staff from Groundwork and Huntingdonshire District Council.

Riverside Park has benefitted from the removal of chain-link fencing and concrete posts that were impacting on the scenic view of the river, cleared overgrowth, cleaned the 10 ornate bridges located along the pathway following flooding last year, to better improve the look of the area. The team also re-painted benches, removed an old laurel hedging to open up a seating area, planted bluebells, constructed raised planters made out of recycled plastic that have been planted up, as well as planting of shrubs and bulbs that will create colour from seasonal flowers all year round. This has improved the area aesthetically as well as practically for the local community.

As well as achieving their City & Guilds, the team have also received personal skills development training on team working, communication, problem solving, and developing confidence, to prepare them for future employment.

Andrea Finbow, Senior Employment Project Officer for Groundwork said “The group have achieved so much in 12 weeks. Not only have they improved their employment prospects by achieving qualifications and gaining practical experience, but they’ve also improved the park for the local residents, which leaves a lasting legacy of their work. Congratulations to the team!”

This project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.