|10th July 2012|
Children Thank UK Steel Enterprise For Jungle Playground
Children helped by a project that provides a safe haven for families who are homeless or fleeing domestic violence can now enjoy some happy times in their new jungle playground thanks to UK Steel Enterprise.
The much-needed play area at Tees Valley Housing Group’s project in Middlesbrough has been planned and created by a group of unemployed young people on a 12-week course designed by The Prince’s Trust to help them into jobs or further education.
The seven-strong group, aged 16 to 25 chose to help the project as part of their course. Their plans impressed UK Steel Enterprise so much that they won £1,800 from its special Community Fund, set up by the Tata-Steel business support subsidiary to improve the lives of people living in steel areas.
Manager Zoe Payn, said: “The young people have turned a very dull courtyard into the most exciting jungle play area and it will provide hours of pleasure for the children. We can have 30 or more children staying here and they arrive at a difficult time in their lives.
“We have to rely on donations for children’s toys and are so grateful to the young people, The Prince’s Trust and UK Steel Enterprise.”
The Prince’s Trust course helps unemployed young people, some of whom may have been in care, offended, been excluded from school or be under-achieving educationally, gain the skills, work experience and confidence they need.
Jessica Winward, 18, from Middlesbrough said: “I have learnt such a lot on this course, from conquering my fear of heights on our residential week to giving the presentation to UK Steel Enterprise, and am now hoping to get a job working with elderly people.”
Claire McGarvey, Prince’s Trust Team Leader from Stockton Riverside College said: “The group has learnt a huge amount but had great fun too, especially spending their £600 equipment budget on a sandpit, swings, play house, tunnel and other games. They were thrilled when Smyths Toys donated a further £120 worth of toys and N-Sign, Mothercare and Lord Tool Hire provided help as well. We are all so grateful to UK Steel Enterprise and these local businesses.
“UKSE has now backed our community projects with a total of £11,000 and it has helped so many young people to help themselves and to help others.”
Simon Hamilton, Regional Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Each Princes Trust group plans, writes and ‘sells’ their project to us in a Dragons-Den style presentation as part of their fund-raising efforts.
“The young people are so impressive, overcoming their nerves and lack of experience to give excellent presentations. We are very pleased to see our Community Support Fund help them to improve their job opportunities as well as leaving a lasting legacy through their community projects.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Simon Hamilton of UK Steel Enterprise and Claire McGarvey, Prince’s Trust Team Leader (kneeling front) in the new jungle playground with some of the young people on the Prince’s Trust course and residents at the Middlesbrough housing project.