Jobless young people cheer up the Eastwood and Kimberley community

TRUST WORTHY -- some of the Eastwood-based Prince's Trust students hand over a cheque for �482.07 to Deb Lee (second from left), of the Ryan Lee Trust.
TRUST WORTHY -- some of the Eastwood-based Prince's Trust students hand over a cheque for �482.07 to Deb Lee (second from left), of the Ryan Lee Trust.

Community groups, projects and charities in the Eastwood and Kimberley area are better off thanks to the voluntary work over the summer of students from the Prince’s Trust.

The six jobless students, based at Eastwood Fire Station, have spent 12 weeks performing a variety of tasks and raising money for good local causes.

Now, at the end of their course, they have presented £900 towards a clean-up project at Erewash Canal and organisations in the area.

These organisations include the Ryan Lee Trust, which supports families of children and teenagers hit by cancer or debilitating tumours.

Based at a drop-in centre on Main Street, Kimberley, it was set up by Deb and Shaun Lee whose 14-year-old son Ryan was struck down by five brain tumours and died in 2010. Now the Trust is £482.07 richer after the Prince’s Trust students handed over a cheque to a delighted Deb.

“We are incredibly proud of the students’ work in the local community,” said team leader Gina Stevenson.

“Not only has it been a massive personal achievement for them, but they have also helped to build a more positive future for themselves, as well as achieving qualifications to help them gain employment.

“As part of their course, they raised £900 through charity events, and the substantial donation to the Ryan Lee Trust deserves particular recognition.”

The project at Erewash Canal included the improvement of safety structures, the maintenance of lock gates and a litter clean-up. The team also removed fire hazards and installed safety barriers in the hope of deterring anti-social behaviour.

“They did a fantastic job,” added Gina. “Thanks to their great work, the canal area is now a cleaner, more pleasant place to be for local people and also wildlife.”

A new batch of students is set to move into Eastwood Fire Station in September. Anyone who can offer support with work placements or community projects should e-mail gina.stevenson@notts-fire.gov.uk

THE students behind the community cheer were unemployed 16-to-25-year-olds on the Prince’s Trust programme operated by the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The programme aims to provide a brighter future for young people who are being held back by a lack of confidence and/or qualifications. Run by team leaders across the county, it achieves this through community projects, team challenges, team-building activities which, ultimately, lead to a nationally recognised Prince’s Trust qualification in employability, team work and community skills.

This all boosts the self-confidence, communication skills, motivation and job prospects of the students, and also helps towns like Eastwood and Kimberley.

Youngsters interested in joining the next course at Eastwood Fire Station, which starts on September 21, ring Gina Stevenson on 07967 690756.