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Gardening project at Carl Hall Court helping unemployed residents gain qualifications

Residents in Peterborough are getting their hands dirty to revitalise an outside area at one of our schemes – while working towards a qualification.

We’ve teamed up with environmental charity Groundwork East to offer its Green Skills programme to local people who are out of work and have an interest in working outdoors.

They’ve now started working on two overgrown gardens at our Carl Hall Court scheme, as well as attending classroom-based sessions as they work towards a City and Guilds Level 1 Practical Horticulture qualification.

The work will see them cut back and clear the outdoor spaces, paint fences, turn over soil and remove weeds before preparing the beds ready for planting.

We’ve also provided a budget for new plants and flowers, which the participants will plant so that there’s more colour throughout the year. They’ll also mulch over the area with bark chip to help prevent weed growth and help to put nutrients back into the ground.

The project has mostly been funded by John Lewis and Sareeta Sharma, our Community Investment Lead for the South region, said she was delighted to see the project get under way and participants start working towards their qualifications.

She added: “It’s a great way of encouraging people to work towards a qualification and hopefully find employment, as well as helping to improve outdoor spaces at one of our schemes.

Garden project. People working on a garden

It’s a great way of encouraging people to work towards a qualification and hopefully find employment, as well as helping to improve outdoor spaces at one of our schemes.

“We hope that everyone involved in the project really enjoys it and has fun while they learn lots of new skills.

“We’re also hoping that one of our contractors will be able to offer further practical work experience to one of the participants of the course, which will be a fantastic opportunity for them.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the work progress.”

A second Green Skills project will be run later in the year at our Friary Court scheme.

Andrea Finbow, Senior Employment and Community Project Officer at Groundwork East, said: “This project has been set up to help residents of Peterborough to gain some skills and experience in landscaping and horticulture by participating in a real project which helps the community.

“Participants will also enhance their employability skills as they’ll take part in a mock interview which is due to include Longhurst Group’s contractor idverde.

“It’s fantastic that we’ve received this funding from John Lewis and that we’ve been able to link up with Longhurst Group to improve the outdoor space for residents at Carl Hall Court whilst helping residents of Peterborough to get involved in something worthwhile. 

“It’s always wonderful to see individuals growing in their confidence and skills over the duration of the project as well as improving wellbeing and their future progression and employment prospects.”

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