Park life suits adult volunteers
A POPULAR open space in a High Peak town has never looked better, thanks partly to the hard work of four adults with learning difficulties.
Every Monday for the last eight months, the volunteers from Alderbrook Day Opportunities in Chinley have been working with the Borough Council’s park ranger on various tasks in Whaley Bridge Memorial Park.
They have been taught to use several tools so they can do jobs including pruning rhododendron bushes and keeping the park clean and tidy.
The adults from Derbyshire County Council day services have also built barriers to prevent park users straying onto the neighbouring allotments.
Anthony McKeown, the borough’s executive councillor for community services, paid tribute to the volunteers: “Helen, Chris, Graham and Kevin have come in to work in all weathers and have been welcomed with open arms by the many members of the public who’ve seen what a great job they do”.
The borough council’s aim is to train the group to work as independently as possible so it can manage without supervision if the ranger is unavailable. The volunteers are given protective clothing to keep them safe while they work.
Workers from the community Connectors team continue to support the group develop travel training skills to and from the voluntary job and in using local community facilities.
Kevin has recently left the programme but has been replaced by Daniel to keep the team of helpers at full strength.
Kerensa Stocker, manager of Alderbrook Day Opportunities, added: “We would like to thank the borough council for working collaboratively with us to enable people to demonstrate their skills, increase confidence and contribute to their local community”.
Last updated: 29th May 2012