Young people from Fenland Prince’s Trust Team programme transform patch of Wisbech overgrown scrubland

15:11 26 June 2014

Fire Authority Chairman Sir Peter Brown unveils the garden with The Prince

Fire Authority Chairman Sir Peter Brown unveils the garden with The Prince's Trust Team in Fenland and firefighters from Wisbech Fire Station. Picture: ROGER RAWSON

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A patch of overgrown scrubland has been spruced up following a makeover by young people from The Prince’s Trust Team programme in Fenland.

The group transformed the disused garden area of The Staithe, a housing project in Holmes Drive, Wisbech, into an open and usable space as part of their work in the community.

The Prince’s Trust Team programme is a 12-week course for disadvantaged, unemployed 16-25 year olds which aims to increase confidence, motivation and skills.

Local firefighters from Wisbech Fire Station, who meet with participants at least twice a week, have also been getting dirty helping out with the makeover.

Participants identified the project, raised funds to support it, planned, managed and carried out the transformation in just two weeks.

It was officially unveiled by Sir Peter Brown, chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority, which is a partner of the Team programme, today.

Mr Brown said: “The Prince’s Trust Team programme in Fenland is a new venture for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service to be involved in and although we’re only half way through, we’re overwhelmed by the dedication and hard work these young people have put in.

“It is clear they took on a really big project here with a lot of manual work and have managed to create a much more enjoyable space for the residents and really given something back to their community.”

Nigel Howlett, chief executive of the CHS group which runs The Staithe, said: “The improvement is quite amazing and I am sure it will inspire everyone who comes to The Staithe, as well as giving them a safe and accessible space to use.”

The scheme, delivered by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, is the first of its kind in Fenland.

It is run in partnership with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the College of West Anglia.

Participants take part in teambuilding activities, work placements, careers advice and support, presentation skills and team challenges, and have completed a week-long residential stay at Grafham Water.

At the end of the course students can also gain a Prince’s Trust Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills and an Emergency First Aid Certificate.

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