21st May 2021
The Land Trust’s environmental training programme Green Angels continues to change lives and make a positive difference to communities at the Countess of Chester Country Park.
The Countess benefits hugely from the commitment and dedication of the Friends of Countess of Chester Country Park, a volunteer workforce who deliver a wide variety of activities on site which contributes to the economic and social value delivered by the Land Trust at the Countess.
As Covid-19 restrictions have gradually eased in recent months the Friends have been running Forest School sessions for pre-school age children and their parents in partnership with the site’s managing partner, The Conversation Volunteers (TCV) and Chester Friends of the Earth’s project Eco-Communities UK CIC. These sessions, funded by the Westminster Foundation, the Welcome Network & Cheshire West and Chester Council, have had a focus on helping combat social isolation in young families in Blacon by showing them how they can come together and enjoy the great outdoors. The programme has therefore been aptly named ‘Forest Fun’.
These events have been a great success but what has been particularly exciting is that four of the Land Trust’s Green Angels trainees have been assisting with the delivery of these sessions.
Andy and Morag Scargill from the Friends group who are leading the project have both benefitted from Green Angels training, as too has Charlotte Houghton from Eco Communities who is assisting TCV’s Neil McMahon, the Country Park’s Ranger, in delivering the programme. Charlotte has gone on to become a Postcode Gardener for Chester Friends of the Earth’s Eco Communities 10x Greener Campaign and she is now employed by the Friends to reach out to the local community and share her gardening skills with local families.
Gemma Parkin has also attended Green Angels courses and taken part in a number of volunteering activities run by TCV and the Friends, and is now gaining more experience and planning on training to become a Forest Schools practitioner in the future.
The Land Trust’s Director of Portfolio Management, Alan Carter, said:
“It’s fantastic to see the amazing progress that Charlotte and Gemma have made since graduating from our Green Angels training programme.
“Stories like theirs are exactly what we hoped we would see when we started Green Angels in 2014. We knew that the great outdoors has the power to change lives for the better and it’s lovely to see our trainees’ progress and passing on their knowledge and expertise to the next generation.”
Morag Scargill, Vice Chair of the Friends of Countess of Chester Country Park, added:
“It is great to see how Charlotte and Gemma have benefited from the courses they have attended at the Countess and have used the skills and experience they have gained to help others and progress their careers.”
Green Angels is the Land Trust’s award winning free environmental training programme, which is delivered on a number of the Trust’s sites across the country. The training has an environmental focus, giving trainees the chance to learn new skills, enhance their future prospects and make a difference in the community.
The courses cover subjects such as wildlife conservation, landscaping, environmental education, horticulture and more. Training programmes last around six weeks, with regular sessions that combine learning with hands-on experience.
Places on the courses are open to application from anyone over the age of 18 years, and are run on a variety of different topic areas. Trainees who complete the full course will be eligible for a certificate, which can help with further learning and career development.
If you would like to learn more please visit our website: https://thelandtrust.org.uk/greenangels/
It felt like a really worthy cause and seeing the result of hundreds of young trees planted at the end of a hot day digging was satisfying!
AB Agri Corporate Volunteer at Fryston
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