Unemployed young people restore Catterick Garrison community garden

From left, Catterick Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan with the team which revamped the garden at Hipswell Habitat.

A team of unemployed young people have given up their time to revamp a community garden in Catterick Garrison.

The group, who are all taking part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme, delivered by Stockton Riverside College, have restore a community space for the Catterick Army Welfare Service.

The team cleared the area at Hipswell Lodge, in Richmond Road, restored and replanted raised beds and generally reviving the lacklustre gardens.

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Prince’s Trust team leader Chris Barnes said: “It has been a big job but the young people have all stepped up to the challenge.

“It has taken a lot of hard work and there’s still more to do but all of the team are proud of the difference they have made.”

Added to that he said comes the satisfaction of knowing their efforts will benefit service personnel, veterans and their families – a cause close to both his own heart, as a former RAF officer, and that of assistant team leader and army veteran, Seveci Navelinikoro.

Cutting the ribbon on the refurbed garden today was Catterick Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan.

“We thought it would be a nice idea for the families if we gave the garden a bit of a theme, said Chris.

“We have loosely based it on the story of Alice and Wonderland with the signage and lots of bright bold colours.”

Prince’s Trust Team member Ben Cox, 21, of Richmond, said: “It has been a tough challenge but we really enjoyed it. The project has brought us closer together as a group. We are now like a little family.”

Of working to provide a garden for the families of service personnel, he added: “It feels amazing and unbelievable. It feels good to know we are helping the community.”

Kelly Richardson, welfare support officer with the Army Welfare Service, said: “It will be amazing to see the gardens in use again by the community. It is an area that was once much loved but has fallen into rack and ruin.

“The young people have being going great guns to completely clear and restore the space and return it to a community garden that can once again be used and loved.”

The Prince’s Trust Catterick Team programme is a 12-week personal development scheme delivered by Stockton Riverside College that offers unemployed young people aged 16 to 25, the chance to develop new skills by taking part in a series of tasks and challenges working as a team.

For more details about the Team programme or how you can get involved visit www.stockton.ac.uk/princes-trust/ or call 01642 865589.