Warrington's young people get 'Access' to employability

Cheshire Wildlife Trust gives Warrington's young people 'Access' to employability

Cheshire Wildlife Trust is opening up its Access programme to residents in Warrington. The scheme helps young people into jobs while helping wildlife.

The programme uses conservation volunteering to help people aged between 16 and 25 who are not in employment, education or training on to the career ladder.

Beth Alvey, the Trust's Volunteer and Training Manager, explains:

"The aim of the project is to use conservation volunteering to give young people access to new practical and employability skills, and give them the experience of working in a team. We hope they will then use it as a platform to move into further volunteering, employment or education."

During the six-week scheme, participants will spend two days a week taking part in practical conservation tasks on the Trust's nature reserves in Cheshire. They will also design, budget and carry out a specific project to improve an area of a chosen reserve for wildlife.

Beth added: "The project has already been a success in other parts of Cheshire and so we wanted to open it out to young people in Warrington. Four members of a recent cohort have already moved straight into full time jobs, another three are continuing voluntary work with us, and two are now going back to college.

“Not only that, but the participants completed the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale assessment before and after the course. The results showed a significant improvement in the participants wellbeing following the programme.

“This shows that volunteering to help wildlife can not only benefit job prospects but also people's sense of wellbeing.”

The Access programme is part of the Trust's Heritage Lottery Fund volunteering project Natural Futures, and is supported by the Cheshire Community Foundation.
Beth is currently looking for participants from Warrington to take part in the next which will start on October 24th.If you would like to know more, or to get involved you can email Beth balvey@cheshirewt.org.uk, call 01948 820728, or text 07793 249564.