A group of local young people are celebrating after being awarded Scottish Waterways Trust ‘Green Action’ certificates, and other prestigious awards at The Falkirk Wheel today (Thursday 17th September).
A team of 14 took part in the 12 week-long programme which forms part of the wider Green Action initiative, an employability project delivered by Scotland’s only national waterways charity Scottish Waterways Trust.
Green Action, made possible with funding from Forestry Commission Scotland and Bank of Scotland Foundation, is designed to help 16-25 year olds in the Falkirk area who have experienced setbacks in their education or work begin the journey towards employment.
During the 12 weeks, young volunteers carried out a range of practical improvement activities around The Falkirk Wheel including forestry conservation tasks and woodworking and gained CV boosting awards including the John Muir Award, Saltire Award, Employability Award and First Aid and water safety certificates.
Since it launched six years ago, over 400 young people have taken part in Green Action with 60% securing a job, place in training, education or a new volunteering role afterwards.
Green Action volunteer, Sam, aged 21, said:
I joined Green Action because I suffered recent mental illness and I wanted to keep active and just do something. On the programme, I’ve learned how to get back into the work place and keep myself busy and I’ve relearned teamwork skills and practical outdoor tasks. Now I want to find a job and build myself back up again. I’m going to see what’s out there but I would like to do something outdoors.
Green Action volunteer Stewart, age 23, added:
I wanted to do something active instead of sitting around. I’ve been in classrooms all my life, so I wanted to try a different thing outdoors. I want to keep going now and find work. I’ve applied to teach English overseas in Japan in the summer too.