Volunteering students lift the spirits with gardening project at Worcester Police Station
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Officers and staff will find their work environment just that bit brighter, thanks to the green fingers of local blind or vision impaired students.
Students at NCW are the latest group to have joined the force’s Inclusion Volunteers and will be looking after the garden in the middle of Worcester Police Station, as well as doing some artwork on the walls to provide a pleasant place for employees to enjoy on their breaks.
NCW is a national residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are blind or vision impaired. Every student has a tailored programme, carefully planned and delivered to meet their individual needs, including involvement in extracurricular activities at the college and in the community.
Kevin Powell, Citizens in Policing Co-ordinator at West Mercia Police, said: “This follows on from similar schemes from different organisations at Shrewsbury, Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Redditch Police Stations. The scheme helps break down barriers between our disadvantaged communities and the police, as well as giving the students valuable experience and meaningful tasks.
“We are now starting to see students on the scheme progress to paid employment, thanks to the experience gained from volunteering with us.”
Inspector Peter Nightingale said: “The creative students have created bulb ‘lasagnes’ and pansy planters, and delivered these to us at Worcester Station on 4th November. We are really delighted with the results, as this has really cheered up the area and given officers and staff a more attractive and peaceful area to enjoy their lunch, or just take a few minutes’ rest and reflection.”
Nathalie Emanuel, Strategic Lead for ILS at NCW, said: “The students have loved learning more about planting and have relished being able to get hands-on with making something to show their skills. The feeling that they have made a positive impact to another community is important for self-esteem. The students thrive when opportunities to be involved with the wider community are presented; it enables them to make a difference. We are really grateful to everyone at the Worcester Station for their enthusiasm and support.”
The Inclusion Volunteers projects, including the Worcester garden, are funded by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion. John said: “It is fantastic to see students of NCW flourish by joining the Inclusion Volunteers. Not only do the students develop valuable skills for the future, but the positive impact they have had on Worcester Police Station highlights the importance of partners working together.
“By building a strong relationship between disadvantaged groups and the police, we can ensure their voices are heard within our society and that they continue to have a positive impact on the communities of West Mercia.”
For more information on the Inclusion Volunteers, contact Kevin Powell on 07805 051630, or for more information about NCW, visit the website at www.ncw.co.uk.