A Path Skillz Case Study

Logo Parklea

The Active Environment team from Paths for All recently had the pleasure of attending Parklea to work with a group of young people to help design, plan and construct a new path for visitors to this fabulous resource for the local community in the Inverclyde area.

Parklea is a voluntary organisation that aims to deliver their range of training, supported employment, work experience, recreational and social facilities to empower individuals with the skills and confidence to assist in their inclusion within the community.

Parklea Association Branching Out Ltd was established in 1997 to help to develop local individuals with support needs to fulfil their potential and using horticulture as a vehicle to provide for a variety of clients including adults and children with learning and/or physical disabilities, those with mental health problems, school leavers, young and long term unemployed, elderly groups and community groups

In recognising the therapeutic value of a horticultural environment, Parklea have adopted a holistic client-centred approach towards education, training and employment, with the aim of achieving optimum independence, dignity and fulfilment, while respecting the individuality and rights of each person.

In partnership with Inverclyde Youth services, Parklea and Paths for All led a four day course which was attended by two pupils from Inverclyde Academy. Both of these pupils gave their consent for a short informal interview with their case worker Paul Ross present to discuss how this experience had benefited them.  Both of these young people had freely given up their time to attend this short project.

Jordan:

Jordan had recently been a fifth year pupil of Inverclyde Academy.  Due to finding school difficult, Jordan had become frustrated with attending school which had led to non-attendance. At the beginning of the project Jordan was quite withdrawn within the group setting but did start to show more confidence within the group as the sessions progressed. Below is an account of why Jordan became involved with the project.

What inspired you to come to Parklea and work with Paths for All?

Paul (Youth services and co-ordinator of Word on the on the streets project) knew me and asked if I would like to come along. I didn’t really know what to expect but thought it was better than doing nothing.

What have you thought about the project at Parklea with Paths for All?

At first I thought it was going to be really boring but I have enjoyed becoming involved.  I did like the challenges we had in the first couple of days and liked being part of planning our path with the other members of the team and have enjoyed building it.

What positives have you gained from the project?

I have learned new skills, such as surveying and have also learned to use new tools like the mattock.  I have enjoyed being involved and have liked working with the other guys in a team.  I wasn’t sure if I would like it at first but I feel a lot more confident around the group now that I have got to know them.

What challenges did you face here?

I was a bit embarrassed at first as I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t like having to do all the writing but the group helped me with that and I really enjoyed doing the work on the path.

Has this helped you with any personal goals?

We had to write down our goals on the first day and then review them each day.  I think I have become more confident and have learned new skills that I wanted to develop.  I have enjoyed being here and doing this project and would like to come back and help.

Although the project still has two modules to complete before a Dynamic Youth Award can be given Jordan has been put forward for a volunteer youth award in relation to this project.  Jordan has also informed staff that he is willing to keep coming to Parklea to volunteer to work with the staff he has met here as he has enjoyed being part of the team.

Christopher:

Chris is a fourth year pupil of Inverclyde Academy.  Chris, although very shy at the beginning of the course quickly showed that he has quite an energetic personality.  Like Jordan this has occasionally led to issues with his behaviour in class at school In a setting with older group members he did seem a little reticent to get involved but as the sessions progressed quickly became involved in taking part in all aspects of the project.

What inspired you to come to Parklea and work with Paths for All?

I knew Paul and he asked me if I would like to come along as he thought it would be something I would enjoy. Didn’t really know what to expect but it was better than getting bored at home.

What have you thought about the project at Parklea with Paths for All?

Thought it was going to be rubbish when we started but the challenges were a laugh and I have liked working hard to build the path with the other guys in the group.

What positives have you gained from the project?

I have enjoyed being involved and have liked working with the other guys in a team.  Now that I know them I like working here and want to come back.  I have liked learning from everybody here and think I would enjoy doing more stuff here.

What challenges did you face here?

Was a bit of a ‘riddy’ at first but now that I have been here a couple of days I have enjoyed being part of it.  The shovelling could be hard but everybody has said I have worked well and that has given me confidence.

Has this helped you with any personal goals?

I think being involved has helped me become more self confident and made me realise that I am really good at stuff like this.  Liked being here and I have learned that I can help plan projects with a team from the start of it till the end.

Chris has also expressed his interest to join Parklea on a more permanent basis to volunteer assisting with the nursery and the people that visit.  Chris has also been put forward for a Volunteer Youth award due to his progress while working with Parklea and Paths for All.

 

 


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