In October 2017, a small number of students studying Level 1 in Environmental Studies at Prior Pursglove College in Guisborough partnered up with the Endeavour Boost Project.
Endeavour is a small, national educational charity working at grass roots with some of the most disadvantaged and disaffected young people across England. Their Boost project, fully funded by the Big Lottery fund, they have been working across the Tees Valley, with 18-25 year olds who have a barrier to learning.. The aim of the project is to provide young people with the skills, confidence and support to enhance their options for the world of work. Incorporated in to this partnership was the goal of the young people achieving the Discovery Award from the John Muir Trust.
Over a six week period between October and December, the group travelled to Commondale in North Yorkshire, to Fowl Green Farm to a project called Beyond Boundaries. Beyond Boundaries is a locally-based community project, aimed at improving the life chances of children and adults with learning difficulties.
The group were welcomed with open arms and over the six weeks, engaged in activities that met the learning outcomes of both awards they were studying. This included, planting and protecting strawberry plants, collect wood and making animal shelters, feeding sheep, creating a compost heap, moving materials around the farm and fixing fence posts in to the ground.
The group made a positive impact at the farm and received praise from all involved in the project. The project was also acclaimed within the college, as college Principal Joanna Bailey visited the group to congratulate them on their excellent behaviour off site.
An example of the feedback follows;
“The students were polite and very accepting of the trainees on site who have a wide range of physical disabilities and all have learning difficulties. I was very impressed with Alfie-Jo who helped a lady who is visually impaired and has problems walking. He supported her enabling her to participate in the gardening tasks – a true gentleman.”
In February 2018, staff from the Endeavour project came to Prior Pursglove College to present the group with certificates for completing the John Muir award. In a speech, Jamie Dempsey from Endeavour commented that the group were “a credit to themselves, their families and Prior Pursglove College”, whilst also saying that “It was nice to see the group’s self-esteem and confidence improve whilst also seeing their social skills and team work abilities progress.”