Teenagers at YMCA Training Norwich can continue work at Whitlingham Lane Country Park, thanks to grant

Teenagers at YMCA Training Norwich can continue their valuable work at Whitlingham Lane Country Park - thanks to a �5,000 grant from the Norfolk Community Foundation.

This is the fourth successful year YMCA Training Norwich has managed to secure funding, in partnership with the Broads Authority, and will allow young learners on the Foundation Learning programme to continue their work until at least May next year.

On a weekly basis, young learners travel to the site using a hired minibus. They are all provided with steel toe cap boots, safety gloves, and waterproof clothing which has been provided from previous grants.

The young learners are taught how to use a range of tools and equipment which is hired from the park to help undertake specific tasks under supervision.

The tasks include installing new fencing, footpaths, benches, pond dipping platforms, laying wood chip pathways and tree planting. Recently they have spent a whole week installing a 14ft long footbridge with the supervision and guidance of qualified staff.

Russell Wilson, countryside manager at Whitlingham Lane, said: 'I am delighted that the �5,000 funding will help towards the continuation of the valuable project.

'I have seen huge personal development with the young people who have attended over the past four years. It has been a pleasure to be involved in a worthwhile project like this.'

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Adam Savvas, manager at YMCA Training Norwich, said the young learners had made a massive contribution to the countryside park over the last four years.

He said: 'Every time I visit the area, I am surrounded by good memories and can see first-hand the valuable contribution the learners have made to the local area.'

Joe Mahony, 19, a learner on the learning programme, said: 'Whitlingham Lane has helped improve my team working skills and see my potential and others in the group. I really enjoy working outdoors and I have made new friends and improved my confidence.'

Meanwhile, fellow learner Wayne Page, 17, said it had helped him to improve his team building skills, and Chantelle Goss, 17, said she really enjoyed the experience.

She said: 'I have learned how to use different equipment properly with the help of Whitlingham Lane staff. The staff help make the day enjoyable and I look forward to attending each week as we do something different.'

Has your group recently been awarded a grant? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.