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Local young people volunteer at Port Lympne as part of youth programme

27th February 2019

young man painting as part of community projectYoung people taking part in a Prince’s Trust Team programme have spent five days volunteering at Port Lympne Reserve. The project formed part of a community project designed to raise social awareness and give back to the community.

The group of 15 – all unemployed, aged 16-25 and from Ashford – were taking part in CXK’s 12 week Prince’s Trust Team programme. By taking part in the programme, the young people build confidence and motivation. They also build work-related skills, and improve their chances of entering sustainable employment.

After hearing about the inspirational conservation work of The Aspinall Foundation, the group of 15 were motivated to find out more about the work of the charity and how they could support them through their community project.

As a result the group came up with the idea of volunteering at the Port Lympne animal reserve, where they spent 5 days repainting eight of the reserve’s safari trucks. The group initially fundraised to pay the cost of the paint by hosting a pub quiz at The Swan Inn, Ashford.

“I learned a lot through the community project”

Team member Sophia Mayers, 19 and from Ashford, said: “On the first day everyone was really excited. We sanded everything down and painted 3 trucks and a trailer and that was just the first day! We painted 8 trucks in total and at the end of the week, we got to go on the safari as a reward. I learned a lot through the community project. We learned really good teamwork. We also learned how each other likes to work and how we each take instructions differently and have different needs. It was a great experience.”

“The team did a marvellous job”

Angie Sutton, Estates Manager at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve, commented, “We were absolutely delighted that the young people from Prince’s Trust Team supportus. As a charity, help and support from volunteers is invaluable to us. The team did a marvellous job sanding down and painting the trucks. We’d happily welcome them back anytime! ”

The Prince’s Trust Team programme is open to anyone aged 16-25 and not in education, employment or training (NEET).

“A personal development programme which improves confidence”

Participants benefit from a personal development programme designed to help them develop new skills and improve their confidence. The programme gives them the chance to go on an action-packed trip to an outbound activity centre and later develop their Maths and English skills. They go on to build work-related skills including communication, teamwork, job searching, and leadership. They then give back to their communities by volunteering, raising awareness and fundraising for causes that matter to them. Finally they benefit from a two week work experience placement in their field of interest.

The programme is completely free of charge and doesn’t affect participants’ Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit. Travel costs are paid, and individuals may even be entitled to meals and bursary payments.

The next Prince’s Trust Team programme in Ashford will begin on 23rd April 2019. For further information, contact: princestrustinfo@cxk.org, or call 07843 287787.

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