Blossoming project helps local students

The Duchess of Northumberland with young garden volunteers Rachel Marshall, Kristina Gray, Sophie Pattinson, Kate Lawson, Lauren Aisbitt, Kathleen Rennie, Katherine Cass, Ed Inkster and Andrew Smeaton.
The Duchess of Northumberland with young garden volunteers Rachel Marshall, Kristina Gray, Sophie Pattinson, Kate Lawson, Lauren Aisbitt, Kathleen Rennie, Katherine Cass, Ed Inkster and Andrew Smeaton.

The Duchess of Northumberland made a presentation to a dedicated group of students last week to thank them for their work in The Alnwick Garden.

Now in its second year, The Garden’s partnership with the Duchess’ Community High School – the Young Volunteers Programme – continues to blossom.

Working with Sixth Form students to help them gain confidence and give them the valuable skills and references they need to help them on their way to a prosperous career; the scheme has added an extra dynamic to The Garden’s charity work.

With so many young people striving to find new work openings, The Alnwick Garden is offering them a unique opportunity to gain priceless experience.

This includes helping them to create a robust CV which genuinely sets them apart from others; with a personalised letter of recommendation from the Duchess herself for prospective future employers.

With work experience becoming harder and harder to secure, The Alnwick Garden hopes that by offering students this sort of opportunity it can play a part in supporting the community as a whole.

These activities, which take place at weekends and holidays, include the Forget-Me-Not programme, in which the students work alongside children with disabilities on fun, creative projects and also the Elderberries programme, which aims to help older and less-able people within the local community.

The development of a Young Volunteers programme has long been the desire of the Duchess, who feels passionately that young people have much to offer and is keen to encourage a culture of thoughtfulness and community spirit within them.

She said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of The Alnwick Garden and through this fantastic scheme we have been able to offer ambitious and talented students from the local area the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and the chance to build on their CV.

“We are delighted with the contribution they have made and hope to continue and grow this programme for years to come.”