“With the Growth Project, I loved exploring all the animals that live in and around the Basingstoke Canal. We found some creepy animals that we looked at with magnifying glasses so we could find out what they were. I am so excited to begin my first job, I can’t wait.”
Surrey Choices Growth Team provide our customers with a fantastic opportunity to gain gardening work experience. Customers are offered training and support to carry out practical gardening tasks which help preserve the Surrey countryside and public spaces. This may include horticulture, grounds maintenance and tree cutting.
There are now three different teams working across the county to meet the needs of our customers and local businesses and residents:
- Growth Team – South West
- Growth Team – North
- Growth Team – East
Vocational projects like this help our customers to improve their confidence, gain independence and learn new skills to prepare for the world of work. We have our own modules of learning and provide support for individuals to progress further if they wish onto work experience, voluntary or paid work.
The Growth team was originally established 20 years ago to help maintain the Surrey countywide and public spaces. Over recent years our customers have managed two local nature reserves for Woking Borough Council. This has involved clearing hundreds of trees and unwanted vegetation to create large wildflower meadows and forest clearings. Our customers have helped improve these sites for wildlife by planting hedgerows, building and erecting bird and bat boxes and plants for reptiles and amphibians.
We are always looking for new projects for our three Growth Teams to get involved with. On every vocational project, the work is completed by customers who are in training with support from our staff. Any money raised from their work goes back into the project to continue training and developing our customers’ skills.
If you, or someone you know, would like to get involved in the Surrey Choices Growth Team or you have a project they can help you with then please contact us on email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01483 806 806.
Jack first joined The Growth Team to attend our 2015 Countryside Ranger Summer Scheme. The Summer Scheme was a great way for Jack to get experience and a good understanding of the life as a volunteer or employee working in Countryside Management. Jack said he loved learning how to use and maintain the machinery that we use and working in the local Nature Reserves that we manage.
Jack had so much fun that he returned for the same Summer Scheme the following year and asked to join the team. Since joining Surrey Choices, Jack has found a job at a local garden centre. This has been a result of the work he has done with his Surrey Choices Employment Support Specialist. He is looking forward to new challenges in the future.