6th August 2018
As part of the launch of the Land Trust’s new education strategy, we aim to continue and grow our Green Angels training scheme. We will be looking into how it has impacted the lives of recent participants, starting with Lynda.
The Green Angels training scheme was started in 2013 and has since given many people the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications that are focused on the environment. The free, six week course covers subjects such as countryside management, landscaping, environmental education and horticulture. They combine learning with a hands-on, practical experience and have provided many participants with the skills, confidence and encouragement to continue their personal development.
Green Angels courses have so far run in Warrington and South Yorkshire and have been hailed a great success, with many people going on to secure employment after receiving Green Angels training. We recently spoke to some trainees after completing courses in Warrington, who told us about what a difference Green Angels has made for them.
Lynda is retired, and is heavily involved in the friends group at her local park. Having attended a number of Green Angels courses, Lynda has learnt new skills, gained qualifications and made new connections for her work outside of Green Angels. Her breadth of experience, commitments and enthusiasm brought warmth to the group meetings.
“It heard about Green Angels through a friend on Facebook, who had shared one of those Volunteering Days posts that Warrington do. I reposted it and read through it and thought ‘oh that could be useful for the other volunteering that I do’, so I enrolled myself onto the course.”
“I belong to a group who look after an area of Warrington and we’re quite hands on, so it’s good to pick up new skills and be qualified to do those skills. That was my main incentive for doing the course.
“You think you know how to do those projects and then when you’re shown how to do it properly you learn quite a lot.”
What was it like to start on the project? Did you find it quite comfortable?
“It’s very comfortable and very friendly. It’s at a level that an absolute beginner could join and it’s just no pressure and really quite enjoyable.”
What have you been up to since your first Green Angels course?
“I’ve done a habitat class, which was quite useful. I don’t know exactly when he Hard Landscaping one starts but I should have a go at that. I’m just about to do another Hard Landscaping one next week. They’re really, really useful for the area that I volunteer on.
“Because or council, who own the land that we work on, insist on health and safety measures and certification that has been perfect. I can now say to the council, “I’ve got a certificate that says I can do these things” and then they don’t panic about me having a strimmer or hedge-cutter.”
Do you think there should be more projects like the Green Angels project?
“Oh, absolutely yes! I honestly can’t understand why more people don’t take up the opportunity.
“I’ve been telling all my fellow volunteers to go on the course and I have introduced a few people to the Green Angels courses too.
“It’s such a good learning opportunity. I mean, I’m retired and I’m at the end of the scale where I’m not really quite fit for some of these courses but some others are. They’re good for young people who want to do agro[cultural] work, anyone who’s unemployed or anybody with wellbeing issues. It would be an absolutely perfect opportunity for them to get out and enjoy themselves in the outdoors.
“It’s very relaxed. The one on basic survival skills has been the best one I’ve done all year! Luckily we didn’t have to skin rabbits or anything like that – it was lighting fires and building camps.
“The news is getting out there now; the people of Warrington need to take it up!”
For information on how you can get involved with Green Angels, visit our training page.
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