On Wednesday November 7th students from Marriotts School & The Thomas Alleyne Academy went to the Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage to take part in a Green Space volunteering project in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council.
Coaches Kemi, Nina and Programme Lead Natalie collected the students from The Thomas Alleyne Academy and continued to the Marriotts School where coach Catherine and the students were awaiting them. Natalie introduced everyone to the objectives for Play Your Part and briefed the group on the safety considerations for the day. Everyone was excited, but a little unsure of what to expect!
Despite the forecast of rain and wind the students ventured outside and met with Joel, our host from Stevenage Borough Council.
The first activity was litter picking. Joel outlined the detrimental impact of littering to the cosmetic appearance of the park and more worryingly, the negative impact on the wildlife living in the park. Spurred on by the information, the students donned their gloves, grabbed a litter picker, rubbish bag and began!
Most students had never picked litter before, but because of the tools, working alongside friends and being able to wander about in the beautiful wooded area, students enjoyed the activity. Some students became really competitive and made a game out of who could fill up the biggest rubbish bag, or find the strangest item!
Joel mentioned that the inner paths in the park do not get cleaned very often. We therefore felt he was quite pleased with the help he received that day from the students; we collected around 8 bags of rubbish in total! We were rewarded with a break indoors and warming hot chocolate.
After our break, Joel took us all on a guided walk around the Millennium Lake. Joel told the students all about maintaining the park, the vegetation, the animals and how the park is being used by the community. It was great to hear that many of the students had enjoyed the recent fireworks display at the park which had been organised by Joel and his colleagues at Stevenage Borough Council. The students then had the opportunity to ask Joel questions about the park and about his role with the Council.
The jam packed morning ended with thanking Joel and returning to school. All in all it was a meaningful but exhausting day for everyone!
To find out more about how your students could get involved with projects like this, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07908 687779.