A GROUP of teenagers from Ashfield secondary schools have helped spruce up a Sutton allotment site after taking part in a new alternative education course.
The five youngsters were put forward by their schools to go along to the SPACE Centre, in Kirkby, to get involved with a project that re-engaged them with the education system, the local community and the natural environment.
They were set the task of helping out at the Ashfield Study Centre Project, at the Carsic allotments off Northern View in Sutton, turning an old portable building site canteen into a functional classroom and community room.
The work, which was carried out every Wednesday over a nine-week period, included painting, putting up a specially-made noticeboard, building a new door and installing a serving hatch, as well as tidying up the raised beds outside.
Said Michael Langridge, treasurer of the Study Centre: “They have exceeded my expectations.
“Whenever we go into a new venture we are always a bit apprehensive about where we are going with it, but these lads have done exactly what they were asked to do and they have done a good job of it.”
The students involved were Steven Watts (13) and Bailie Marriott (13), from Quarrydale School, Alex Dove (14), from Ashfield School, and Josh Jones (15) and Liam Allam, from Kirkby College.
They all said that they had enjoyed taking part in the project, with Josh adding that it was nice to work with people from other schools.
Their work was funded by a £9,000 grant from Asda, which provided all the materials and tools required for the job, and Hayley Radford, the community colleague from the Sutton store, also went along to help out.
She said: “It’s been brilliant - they have all worked really hard.”
The students have also been learning valuable social and life skills while at SPACE - the School Partnership Alternative Centre for Education - which has been set up thanks to a partnership between north Ashfield’s secondary schools.
James Allbright, lead co-ordinator of SPACE, said: “The idea is they get a break from school, doing short courses that give them a sense of achievement and that will hopefully carry on when they go back to school.”
Anyone with a project idea should email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mansfield 758728.