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Students from Claremont High WOW the Barnhill Conservation Group with their Teamworking Skills

On Thursday the 7th of November the students at Claremont High School volunteered at the Barnhill Conservation Group as part of their ‘Play your Part day’. The Play Your Part day is the first of the exciting trips the students attend during their Rising Futures Secondary School programme. It gives us as Yes Futures Coaches an opportunity to connect with the students we coach outside of their usual academic setting and understand how they go about tackling work. We are then able to use this during our coaching sessions to remind them that they can achieve the goals they set for themselves. The day also supports the development of some important characteristics, such as confidence, resilience, communication and self-esteem. Let's see how the students got on!

The day started off with a 10-minute walk from the school to Roe Green Walled Garden. The students were welcomed by the park volunteers John, Carol and Kim who gave them a tour of the historic gardens. The students were introduced to the rock, fruit, herb and stone gardens (including a stone village with small Santa statues), the dry stone wall, the large pond with lilies (dug by hand by volunteers), the goldfish pond, the compost system, the green house (donated by Santander) and even to a donated bike by Peter Gallop (who cycled to Paris in 1937) among other areas.

After the introductory tour, the students were introduced to the work they could do to contribute to the gardens upkeep. They were divided into groups and the volunteers showed them the garden tools and how to safely use them. Each group was then allocated a task to complete such as clean up paths/areas from weeds and autumn leaves and to remove dead plants from the gardens. The students quickly warmed up to the allocated tasks and were communicating and working very well within their teams.

During this time the Yes Futures Coaches had the chance to catch up with the students they coach, and to chat whilst performing tasks together. Some of the best conversations seem to be when working together!

John, Carol and Kim were delighted with the results and commended the students hard work, which left the gardens in a much better state than they had expected. The gardens rely on local volunteers and so were keen to see as many students as possible return!

After having lunch outside in the sun, the day ended with an epic game of ‘Human Knot’ (which was a highlight with the students) requiring competitive team problem-solving and communication. Some teams took nearly 20 minutes to untangle themselves, but they showed great determination to complete the task. Students then returned to school feeling like they have accomplished a lot during the day, and with a fresh understanding of how many of the talents we work on with Yes Futures are directly applicable to situations in the working world.

We want to thank the Barnhill Conservation Group for having us. They taught the students about their local area and how volunteering is a great way to get involved to support it. They did a great job with the students!

To find out more about how your students could get involved with the Yes Futures Programmes, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager:, 07908 687779 or visit our website.

If you're interested in becoming a Play Your Part partner, please contact Helena, Head of Programmes:

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