A team of Nottingham City Homes (NCH) apprentices stepped in this week to help Bulwell Forest Gardens get back on its feet after the community project was targeted by vandals.
Following the ‘mindless vandalism’ at the community facility, just off Austin Street in Bulwell last week, a group of NCH apprentices decided to offer their help.
Matthew Gustard, joint team captain of the NCH Brathay Team 2017, said: “We were so sorry to hear about what had happened to Bulwell Forest Gardens. It’s such a fantastic project, which even won one of our Tenant Awards last year for its brilliant work.
“As soon as we heard about it last week, we got on the phone to Barbara and asked what we could do to help. At NCH we do a lot to help out the local community when things like this happen, and our team was particularly keen to be involved as part of our Brathay Apprentice Challenge for 2017.”
The Brathay Apprentice Challenge is the official search to find the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. Teams of apprentices have to prove their team-building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. They compete in a series of work-related challenges to develop new skills, benefit their local communities as well as raise the profile of their employers and apprentices.
NCH’s Brathay apprentice team has worked on site at Bulwell Forest Gardens this week, fixing the broken picnic tables, felting the roof of a gazebo, fixing new aids and adaptations and mending the locks on the community toilet.
Barbara Bates who runs Bulwell Forest Gardens, said: “It was so disappointing when we saw all the vandalism last week. But the response we have had in support of our project has been fantastic - in the first 24 hours over 100 local residents contacted us to offer practical and financial support.
NCH wasn’t the only local company to support Barbara and her team, horticultural specialist, Hosta Consulting, has also offered its support.
Barbara added: ”I’m so grateful to everyone who has offered their help. In particular, Hosta Consulting donated plants to replace the ones destroyed by the vandals, and the apprenticeship team from Nottingham City Homes, has come out on a cold day to fix much of the items that were broken. They’re a lovely team of people and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work.”