29th March 2019
People have mixed opinions of Warrington. Like anywhere in the world, there are some good bits and some not so good bits.
I recently got to meet some fantastic people from the area who had taken part in the Land Trust’s Green Angels scheme. Most of these people wanted to make the town a better place by improving the quality of the green space, and many have benefitted on a personal level from doing so.
For those of you who don’t know, the Green Angels scheme is open to anyone over the age of 18 who want to gain skills and experience in working outdoors. Courses include environmental education, countryside management, hard landscaping and even basic survival skills (which looks as cool as it sounds)
Each person I spoke to had their own reasons for taking part, and each of their stories was completely inspiring.
One young man had become quite reclusive after leaving school early and taking a path that eventually led to substance abuse. A few years after leaving school he was told about Green Angels and got involved.
“I just got into a rut of waking up, binging and then going back to bed on repeat and became depressed. After my mum told me about Green Angels I just went along and went from there.
“I hoped to get out and stop the bad habits and that’s what it’s done. It’s got me doing things I didn’t think I’d do for a long time – if ever.”
Since taking part in Green Angels, he’s been able to overcome his addiction and has been able to fill his time doing something more beneficial. He said it’s helped him to realise that he can do what he wants to do if he keeps trying.
But these courses and volunteering sessions are full of people from different backgrounds and with different aims. I also spoke to a lady who had taken part in the Green Angels courses so she could expand her skills for the other volunteering she does around the town.
She loves to see the difference she’s made to the spaces she works on. The courses taught her how to use certain tools and how to undertake more difficult landscaping projects and she’s been able to take that knowledge and experience to other projects she’s worked on.
What a satisfying feeling that must be!
The positive mind-set of this lady was really motivating. She said:
“I’m not in the best of health. I’ve got quite a lot of things wrong with me but that doesn’t stop me going out and trying and doing things. You know your limits so you can just do what you can.
“You can sit at home and do nothing or you can go out and do something.”
I will think about that next time I try and find the effort to go to the gym.
There’s plenty more inspiring stories that have come out of the Green Angels scheme, and I’m keen to tell you them all. I took some videos when I spoke to everyone, so stay tuned for that popping up online soon.
Whatever your view is on places like Warrington, just remember, there are amazing people everywhere making positive changes for themselves and for others.
If you’re thinking about doing something like this but your mind set is holding you back – take a leap! You never know what’s around the corner. The Land Trust runs volunteering programmes on nearly all of our sites across the UK, so if you want to get involved in a project like this, take a look at what’s near you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Fido joined the Land Trust in July 2018 as a Communications and Marketing Assistant, having worked voluntarily for the Trust on a five week placement during university.
Sarah studied Journalism with Radio Production at the University of Chester and graduated in 2016. In her spare time, she likes going to live music events, cooking, and walking her Labradoodle, Lucy.
I used to work at Askern pit so I've got an affinity with the place. I've been volunteering at the park for the past couple of years, helping people get the most out of it.
Pete Robson, volunteer at Warren House Park
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