Queensbury pupils help transform park

Green-fingered pupils from Queensbury School in Erdington have been helping to spruce up their local park.

 The school has teamed up with national green services provider, Glendale, to give its students the chance to gain work experience in Brookvale Park and help with their transition into life after school.

The students, who have moderate to severe learning difficulties, have worked alongside Glendale’s park keeper, Paddy Morrissey, on different projects to improve the park.

In particular, they have helped with an ongoing project to protect the island at the centre of Brookvale Park’s lake, filling hundreds of sandbags which were placed around the island to minimise erosion.

The island was restored to its former glory in June this year after erosion began to endanger the wildlife.

Paddy has also been teaching the pupils, who are between the ages of 17 and 19, about the park and the wildlife found there.

Tod Hale, general manager at Glendale, said: “There are lots of benefits to getting young people with learning difficulties working in a green space. The pupils are given some autonomy in the outdoors where they can develop new skills, and the change in scenery stimulates learning.

“It’s also a great way to give the pupils an insight into the work that’s done to keep Brookvale Park looking as good as it does and the way plants grow.

The project has benefited the park too. The students have been doing an excellent job and have worked hard with great enthusiasm. They’ve played a vital role in protecting the island from further erosion – not to mention they’ve been keeping our park keeper, Paddy, on his toes.”

Lynette Douglas, work-related advisor at Queensbury School, said: “Working at Brookvale Park is teaching our pupils valuable skills such as teamwork and presentation, and is helping them practice social skills and communication. They are being encouraged to think independently and most importantly, growing in confidence.

“What’s been great is that this project has also given pupils the chance to integrate into the community while working at the park they’ve met and become friends with other young people from the area.

“Glendale has been a fantastic organisation to work with and has provided our students with an invaluable experience.”

Queensbury School’s pupils are volunteering at Brookvale Park every Wednesday morning.

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