A group of community gardeners were delighted to be presented with Certificates of Achievement from the Mayor of Belfast Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. The seven community gardeners are from a group of volunteers who have helped develop and maintain Whiterock Community Garden over the last growing season. The group attended weekly training sessions delivered by The Conservation Volunteers to develop practical skills and knowledge in all aspects of horticulture to enable them to enjoy and sustain activities in their garden.
The gardeners achieved their Level 2 Workbased Award in Horticulture and are only one of two community gardening groups to achieve the Award this year. Volunteers at the Avoniel Community Garden in East Belfast also received their certificates this year and The Conservation Volunteers will be offering other community gardening groups the opportunity to take part in similar training during the incoming growing season.
The Conservation Volunteers’ Training Unit deliver a range of practical environmental courses throughout Northern Ireland. The courses are aimed at increasing employability of volunteers who are long term unemployed, by increasing their skills, knowledge and understanding across a range of practical topics. The transferable nature of these skills is promoted as well as team building, communication, motivation and personal development
The training, delivered under the European Social Fund, complements the delivery of the Growing Communities project which involves The Conservation Volunteers facilitating Grow Your Own sessions in 11 community gardens across Belfast in partnership with Belfast City Council. The project engages with local people to benefit from their local greenspace and encourages healthier eating and physical activity through gardening activities.