Prince’s Trust Team and local volunteers transform Sutton Coldfield church woodland into a community space
Prince’s Trust Team 123, based at Birmingham Metropolitan College in Royal Sutton Coldfield, have worked with other local volunteers to transform an overgrown woodland at St Chad’s Church into a community space to be used by the locals.
The woodland was officially opened by Sutton’s MP Andrew Mitchell, who christened the area “St Chad’s Wood”, and was then given a tour by the volunteers.
The 16-25 year olds are part of their way through a twelve week course of activities that include work experience, team building skills and first aid training. As part of the course they do a two week practical project which they have undertaken with St Chad’s Church. Their hard work has involved them clearing holly and ivy from the site which was choking the oak trees, removing rubbish, and laying a pathway made of logs and wood chip. In preparation for the project the team raised over £300 to help towards the costs of the project.
The Prince’s Trust Team were joined by Friends of Rectory Park, who provided some of the tools and equipment needed as well as putting up bird boxes. The Co-op Funeral Service Sutton Coldfield came down for a morning to volunteer, and Greggs the Bakers gave a grant of £500 towards project costs.
Andrew Mitchell said “It has been a pleasure to open this woodland today, and to meet all of the hardworking volunteers who have created such a valuable communal space for our Town. I hope that they are very proud of what they have achieved here”.
Mike Wall, Prince’s Trust Team leader said “I very proud of the hard work that these young people have put into the project. They have made a real positive impact on their community which will last for years”.
Rev’d Jonathan Nicholas, Vicar of St Chad’s Church, who joined in with the work over the two weeks said “Our relationship with the earth is very important, and caring for the world is a key part of the mission of the worldwide Anglican Church, and so it has been wonderful for these young people to help us in this way, to bring about a transformation in our woodland and allow it to be a space for the benefit of the local community. This is especially so, as this year is the 90th year of St Chad’s, in which we will being having a year of special events to mark the occasion’.
Martin Richardson, Scout Leader, said “Our group is really thriving at the moment and we are looking forward to being able to now use the woodland as part of the activities we do with the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts”.