Course Feature: Why the Prince’s Trust?

23 August 2017

Whether it’s your confidence you need to work on, whether you want to gain new skills, whether you need help finding which direction you want to go in or whether you simply want to feel a sense of accomplishment whilst also improving your CV, the Prince’s Trust programme can help.

Elesha Blenkinship, former Harper Green School pupil was a member of the very first Prince’s Trust team at Walkden. Elesha transferred from the hair and beauty course at the college as she was unsure if she wanted to continue in that direction. The Prince’s Trust programme not only gave Elesha something constructive to do whilst she decided what her next step was, but was something she enjoyed so much she continued to volunteer with them whilst she was waiting for her pre-teaching course to start at Pendleton the following September.

“I wanted to volunteer with the Prince’s Trust after my team had finished because I wanted to help other people my age develop the same worthwhile skills I had.

“I knew after doing my work experience at a high school whilst on the programme that I wanted to become a teacher. I enrolled onto the pre-teaching course that begins at Pendleton in September 2017, but I needed to get hours of experience to be accepted onto the course. So to be able to volunteer on the next programme at Walkden was really beneficial to me.”

Shiona Gavin, former Irlam and Cadishead College pupil, was also a member of Walkden’s first team. She was on a health and social care course but was struggling, so her personal tutor suggested the Prince’s Trust.

Shiona could only attend part-time because she has a beautiful baby girl. Despite this, she had 100% attendance and was one of the programme’s star students. She completed the course, gained her qualification then volunteered with the Trust until she started her full-time college course in September.

“I volunteered with the new Walkden team because I knew I wanted to have a career doing something that helped people, so this was the perfect opportunity to get more experience of that.”

Making a difference:

The programme is more than just an opportunity to better yourself. It’s also an opportunity give back to the community.

One team based in Little Hulton made headlines when they pulled out their paint brushes and helped with a huge transformation of Parr Fold Park. 

The students raised funds for all the materials and resources they needed to carry out the work and then put the graft in to paint the parks vast bandstand and rejuvenate its memorial gardens. They spent a week removing unsightly graffiti, clearing overgrown vegetation, sweeping paths, planting fresh shrubbery and renovating the stone cenotaph which dominates the commemorative gardens within the park.

PCSO Paul Dickens, who worked with the group commented: “It was fantastic to see these young people working together with members of the community, and to see how positive intergenerational work can be. They worked so hard, and that meant so much to the Friends of Parr Fold Park.”

Diane Walker, Friends of Parr Fold Park added, “I have two young children at home and I would love to see them get involved in something like this group of young people have. I have enjoyed working with the group during the week and it’s great to see what they have achieved.”

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