Lowestoft Community Project: Pathways Care Farm
In June 2017, Lowestoft Team 19 embarked on their journey to complete a community project as part of their Prince’s Trust Team programme with Inspire Suffolk. The team got to work researching many organisations and charities and schools who may have needed help to complete a project. Many of the team had not been tasked with such a research project since leaving school, which enabled them time to develop their IT and researching skills.
The team visited a number of local organisations to discover what projects were available for them to undertake. After a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages, the benefits the projects would have and a blind vote, the Team decided to take on a project at Pathways Care Farm who wanted to join two circular walks around the farm into one figure of 8 by creating a trail and steps, in order to create a new nature trail to walk their Alpacas.
All of the team members believed that this project was valued most by the community and supported people from all walks of life. It also supported those with obstacles close to the obstacles they or their families have faced themselves. The team thought about all the materials that would be required to create the pathway and soon realised that they would need to do lots of fundraising in order to complete the project. They did a Fancy Dress bake sale and tombola in Lowestoft Town Centre, where they donned costumes such as a tin of Spam, a Banana, Alice in Wonderland and Batman. The team rallied together and raised £117 for their materials.
Day One of the project came and the team started by having an initial tour of the farm site and a health and safety talk. They got to work clearing the pathway of overgrown weeds and general rubbish. After a morning of hard graft, enough material had been moved that a string line could now be placed to mark out the first part of the pathway.
The team continued to work for the next two days using spades and shovels to work at the bank and create the new pathway. First, the posts were put in place ready for the railway sleeper steps. Once the steps were created after a lot of hard work – as you can see in the pictures – it was time for the wheelbarrow relay to begin with the team transferring topsoil into the steps to fill them and then Type 1 gravel into each step and along the pathway to create the surface layer. The gravel was heavier and more difficult than the soil to move, but this didn’t stop the team! They worked together and got the job done to a high standard.
All of the Team members were given the opportunity to develop their skills using a variety of tools. This was extremely hard work in the summer sun and took a lot of determination and teamwork to complete the job.
The team even finished with enough time to have a BBQ with the clients at Pathways Care Farm. During the two weeks on the farm, the team learnt how beneficial the care farm is to the local community. Many of the team did not know what a Care Farm was before completing the project – you can find out more information here. One team member, Annabelle Morling, used the project to help her decide on her work experience and went on to complete work experience at a Care Farm in Toft Monks called Clinks Care Farm and used that opportunity to boost her own confidence to enable her to go back to full-time college upon completion of the Team programme with us.
Inspire Suffolk works hard to deliver the Prince’s Trust Team programme across Suffolk, which helps young people 16-25 years improve their confidence and self-esteem as they look to move on to new opportunities in employment, education or training.
As well as their Community Project, the students also take part in an outward bound residential activity trip, take part in work placements, engage with local companies and learn skills for work including CV building. On completion of the course, they achieve a nationally recognised certificate from the Prince’s Trust in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills. Find out more about the programme and where there is one near you here.