If you go down to Elmfield Woods in Bromley today, you’re sure for a wonderful surprise! A group of devoted students from London South East Colleges’ Prince’s Trust Team programme (Team 18) have set to work on clearing the brambles and undergrowth from the park’s entrance areas as well as collecting litter and removing rubble.

The team plan to totally transform the park and restore its natural beauty and fauna into a habitat fit for wildlife and the public alike.

Team Leader, Jane Myles helped the students devise a scheme of work that entailed a fund raising mission to produce cakes, handmade crafts and a tombola and sell them to staff and students throughout the College. They raised over £250 to buy tools and materials for the conservation project. This week (on Wednesday 18 October) the students began work on their ambitious project to clean up and re-vitalise the woods.

After setting the students their individual tasks on day one, Jane said: “The students have really engaged with the project and have been itching to get started. Just this morning, they have already cleared a huge area and we are way ahead of schedule. Local users of the park will be delighted by the progress we have made.”

Daren Russell is a Community and Conservation Team Leader and works for id verde who have the contract with Bromley Council to maintain its parks and open green spaces throughout the borough. He is also a member of the Friends of Hoblingwell conservation group. He says: “This is the fifth project that I’ve been able to enlist the help of the Prince’s Trust Team. It is a brilliant way of involving young people and encouraging them to help preserve their local environment and gain some civic pride.”

Sofia from Mottingham is working hard with her fellow students and thoroughly enjoying the experience it brings. She says: “Before I started my Prince’s Trust Team programme, I got to the point where I didn’t want to leave the house each day. I was very low on confidence and didn’t have a very good experience of school. This is totally different. Everything we have done so far has been really captivating and engaging. Our team leader sets us goals and we have to use our initiative and resourcefulness to go about achieving them. We also learn teamwork and good communication techniques. I’m enjoying it so much and can’t wait to stand back and admire the work we have done when this project ends.”

Carl from Gillingham has benefitted immensely from the project. He says: “This project makes me feel better about myself and that I am giving something back to the community. Already, people walking their dogs through the woods have been praising us for our work and that makes a difference. I love working outdoors and taking part in such a healthy activity like this.

The Prince’s Trust Team project has helped me to achieve and develop some career ambitions. I would like to be a computer programmer or games developer and I am now setting my sights on studying the subject next year.

Local resident and park-user Sue walks her dogs in Elmfield Woods each day. She is excited by the prospect of having the area cleaned up and made into a ‘must-go-zone’ for her and her dogs Molly and Holly. “It’s wonderful,” she says, “the students are doing a fab job and it’s starting to look great already. Well done to them all.”

If you are between the ages of 16 and 18, and not sure about the career direction you would like to travel in, come and talk to us now. We run three exciting 12-week programmes each year to help you develop your confidence, social and team-building skills and improve your prospects for further training or employment. Come along to one of open events.


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