Garden programme helps grow career opportunities

Mark Brassell, MD at The Alnwick Garden, Mayor of Alnwick Alan Symmonds and Stephen Telford, Enterprise Programme Development Manager at The Alnwick Garden, with some of the Grow into Work participants.

Young people have helped sow the seeds to future careers by completing an employability programme, run at The Alnwick Garden.

Over a six-week period, eight job-seekers took part in a range of activities to develop their skills and build experience, as part of the attraction’s inaugural Grow into Work scheme.

The initiative is aimed at those who are unemployed in north Northumberland.

The participants attended classroom sessions which focused on CV writing, application forms and interview skills as well as undertaking two work placements in the Alnwick area.

In addition to experience offered by The Garden, town-based employers Alnwick Arts and Crafts, Costa Coffee, The Farm Bakery and G Penrose and Sons provided placements and support.

Recently, the eight-strong group attended a celebration event to mark the end of their course and to honour their achievements.

The special party, held in The Treehouse, featured speeches and presentations from the young people to an audience of friends, family, employers and local dignitaries.

Stephen Telford, The Garden’s Enterprise Programme Development Manager, said “We are extremely proud of our first cohort of Grow into Work young people.

“We hope this project can help those in our local communities that need support around finding work and we’re looking forward to seeing what comes next for this inspirational group of young people.”

Thomas Fellows, a participant from the first programme, said: “Grow into Work helped my confidence and I have a job starting in October and I’d recommend it to anyone.”

The next Grow into Work programme starts on Monday, October 8, and runs to Thursday, November 15, and in a change from the first course, there will be no age restrictions.

To find out more or to register, contact Stephen on 0774 173 2806 or email stephen.telford@alnwickgarden.com

The Alnwick Garden runs a number of community-minded programmes, including the Roots and Shoots Healthy Living Project and the Elderberries initiative, which is designed to combat loneliness among Northumberland’s elderly community.

For more information, visit www.alnwickgarden.com

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