Opportunity for age group in Ashington to develop some green skills

Groundwork North East project officer Laura Waugh, second from left, with volunteers in Ashington Community Woods. Picture by Jane Coltman
Groundwork North East project officer Laura Waugh, second from left, with volunteers in Ashington Community Woods. Picture by Jane Coltman

Young adults from areas of Ashington who want to work in the countryside sector have the opportunity to gain a training qualification and get some practical experience at the same time.

Ashington Community Woods and Groundwork North East have developed a Green Skills 4 Life programme for 10 people between 18 and 25.

Funding has been provided by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which has asked those running the initiative to focus on individuals living in the Central and Hirst wards of the town.

The programme, which will run on Mondays and Wednesdays for nine weeks, will include practical conservation task days to gain skills such as woodland and grassland management, creating habitats, surveying wildlife, building benches, bridges and paths, and visiting employers.

There will also be computer session days at Pegswood Community Hub.

Modules for the NOCN Qualification Level 1 Award include personal career preparation, job seeking skills, preparing for interview and work, improving confidence, health and safety in practice and ecology and conservation.

The young adults will also be supported to attend relevant practical training for machinery such as brush cutters, strimmers and chainsaws.

Groundwork North East project officer Laura Waugh said: “We’re offering this employability programme as a means to engaging young people in positive activity and educating them to look after their natural environment and develop practical skills that could go towards them volunteering with us or finding work.

“We have three young people from central Ashington who attend our Monday regular volunteer group in Ashington Community Woods. They are looking for work/training in this sector and although what they do as part of the group is very helpful, it does not give them the support they need for this particular aim.”

For more information, call her on 01670 514876 or email laura.waugh@groundwork.org.uk