Doing their bit for the environment has proven a driving force for a group of unemployed Richmondshire young people looking to make a positive impact in the community.
The result was three green-focused projects for the youngsters taking part in The Prince’s Trust Catterick Team who committed their time and efforts to carry out a litter-pick, a riverbank clean-up, and the refresh of a woodland walkway.
Team leader Seveci Navelinikoro, known as Nav, said: “The environment is something that really matters particularly to the younger generations these days and through our work with The Prince’s Trust we are finding that our young people are no different.”
So, when it came to carrying out a two-week community project that could benefit their hometown, tackling environmental issues was top of the list.
The Prince’s Trust Team programme is a 12-week personal development course, delivered in partnership with the Education Training Collective, offering young unemployed people aged 16 to 25 the chance to discover new focus and brush up on their skills.
Among those taking part was teenager Nemani Tuvakasiga, who keen to build his leadership skills, helped motivate the team effort.
“It felt good to really be making a difference and everyone worked hard,” said the 17-year-old who lives with his family in Catterick. “I felt a little bit nervous at first, but as soon as we got the whole team working together it was good fun.”
And even with the elements against them, he added: “We just had to get our heads down and keep moving.”
Nav said: “Everyone was passionate about making a change, they wanted to make the areas that we focused on tidy, safe and clean for other people in Catterick to enjoy.”
The group joined forces with e50K at Catterick Barracks, a social enterprise helping to improve the lives of those impacted by forces living, to clean up an area of Brambles Woods, making it accessible to families complete with fire pit.
They cleared litter at Coronation Park and spent a further two days clearing the banks of a one-and-a-half-mile section of Richmond River.
Pitching their plans to the Key Fund, the group secured £250 to help cover the costs of all three projects.
Nav said: “I am very proud of the team, they took responsibility for the whole challenge.
“Even when the weather was against them, they showed real resilience and were eager to keep going!”
To find out more about The Prince’s Trust Team opportunities starting in Catterick, Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Stockton next month (May 2022) visit: Stockton.ac.uk/princes-trust