Big-hearted students have given a children’s playgroup a new lease of life.
The group from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) spent a week working at Play Space - Burghley Road Under 5s Community Centre in Wood Green.
They are all enrolled on a 12-week Prince’s Trust programme to help young people develop the skills, confidence, practical experience and motivation needed to get them job ready.
Part of the programme requires students to take part in a community project, and after searching the internet they decided to support the centre. They initially held a stall selling Fairtrade chocolate and organic tea hampers to raise money to buy equipment and tools before setting to work.
They painted the building, doors and gates, renovated benches and plant troughs and removed weeds from the play area at the voluntary-run centre, which had been in need of restoration for some time.
The Prince’s Trust programme also includes a residential activity week, two weeks' work experience, help with job hunting and CV writing, ways to improve the job and education opportunities and the chance to gain a nationally recognised qualification.
Rushelle Angus, 23,, who is taking part in the programme, said: “I am proud of the work we have done here. The people that run the centre said it looked beautiful. That made me feel really good. It’s helped me learn new skills, which will help me in the future.”
Tung Le, 17, added: “It has been really inspiring. My teachers have helped me and I feel I have grown as a person over the course of the programme. It’s really improved my self-esteem and confidence and my leaderships skills, and doing this project has given me a real sense of achievement.”
Play Space - Burghley Road Under 5s Community Centre is a charity and has been serving children and families in North London since 1992. Many of the volunteers who run the centre are parents whose children use it, with the charity reliant on donations to keep going.
Centre Manager and Trustee Nisha Morgan said: "When I saw what the students had done I couldn’t believe how much it had changed. Now we have a very special place for the children to go out and play, which is a much brighter, safer and cleaner environment for them to enjoy.
“The students have put so much hard work and effort into it. We cannot express how thankful we are for what they have done. It is really appreciated.”