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Leading charity challenges unemployed youngsters to transform garden
29 June 2012
A group of 12 unemployed young men from Glasgow have created a
beautiful garden in the southside of the city for disabled children
and their families to enjoy.
The group, all aged 16-17, was set the task of transforming the
garden at Stoneside Short Breaks service by Action for Children.
The work took place as part of the leading charity's Inspiring
Scotland Challenges programme, which provides young people who are
who are not in employment, education or training - and are deemed
by the Scottish Government to be in need of 'more choices, more
chances' - with opportunities to participate in activities that
benefit their local community.
The regenerated garden will be of huge benefit to Stoneside
Short Breaks - providing a peaceful and pleasant place to play
outdoors; and allowing green fingered children to grow their own
plants and vegetables. Based in Eastwood, the service provides
support and respite care to over 80 disabled children and their
families across the city every year.
Paul Carberry, operational director of children's services at
Action for Children Scotland, said: "Staff from our Stoneside Short
Breaks have big plans for their garden and have worked extremely
hard to raise funds for its regeneration. I am very pleased that
young men from our Challenge programme have been able to lend a
"As well as making a positive difference to the service, the
young men have developed skills and gained experience that will
stand them in good stead for the future - including working as part
of a team, timekeeping and basic construction skills. The group
should be proud of what they have achieved - the hard work and
effort put in over the past few weeks have made a real difference
and will be hugely appreciated by the children and families who use
Over the course of six weeks, the young men transformed the
garden by constructing a play swing and shed; painting a fence;
placing decking, flower and vegetable pods; and creating a seated
area, surrounded by colourful flower boxes.
All of the young men are unemployed and involved in a 'get ready
for work' programme delivered by Training Initiatives Generating
Effective Results Scotland (TIGERS). Taking part in the Challenge
has given them the opportunity to develop new skills and gain work
Jordan McCann, 17, said: "I have been unemployed for six months
and have really enjoyed taking part in the Challenge. It has been
great to meet new people; learn new skills and have something to
focus on. At times it has been tough but we have worked on despite
the rain - it has been worth it. I am really proud of what we have
achieved and I hope the children who use Stoneside Short Breaks
service are pleased. Now I just hope we see a little sunshine this
summer so that they can get out and enjoy the garden!"
The Stoneside Challenge was supported by Dobbies in Milngavie,
which provided gardening equipment, compost and raised bedding.
A total of 250 young people from across Scotland have been
involved in Action for Children's Inspiring Scotland Challenges
programmes to date. The Challenges are designed to benefit both the
young people who participate, who often go on to further training
and development; and local communities - with the regeneration of
communal areas forming the core of the challenge. Young people who
take part in Action for Children's Inspiring Scotland Challenges
programme also have the opportunity to complete a Barclays Money
Skills course designed to help build financial skills.
Action for Children's Inspiring Scotland Challenges programme is
supported by European Structural Funds (ESF).