Students in Hemel Hempstead give back to their local environment
Adeyfield Academy students play their part at Chairborough Nature Reserve
Students from Hemel Hempstead spent a day volunteering at Chairborough Nature Reserve as part of the Yes Futures charity’s Rising Futures programme.
On Friday, November 5, 11 students from Years 10-12 at The Adeyfield Academy were hosted at the nature reserve by Chiltern Rangers, a social enterprise set up to enhance the Chiltern’s local environment through conservation and community engagement.
Yes Futures is a multi-award winning education charity that works in partnership with schools across Hertfordshire and the South East, to help students to realise their potential and develop the life skills needed to succeed in further education, training and employment.
A key part of the Rising Futures programme is the Play Your Part day, where students volunteer with a local community project.
Throughout the day, students realise the benefits of giving back to their community, and develop key teamwork, communication and vocational skills outside of the school environment.
After arriving at the reserve, students were split into small groups and each provided with gloves, a saw and a lopper.
The students were then tasked with lopping back the shrubbery in the nature reserve, with each group of students lopping trees in a different area of the reserve and carrying the cuttings up the hill for a bonfire.
Very few of the students had done work like this before, but all quickly got used to using the tools and everyone got involved.
Some students naturally took on a leadership role within their group, while other students demonstrated their resilience by challenging themselves to cut down a particular size tree.
As the day went on, students naturally started to work together as a team, helping each other and agreeing who would do which task next.
Students were rewarded for their hard work by ending the day toasting marshmallows on the bonfire.
Beccy Somers, Yes Futures' programme manager, said: “The students were really excited to be invited to Chairborough Nature Reserve with Chiltern Rangers.
"All students were really engaged throughout the day and for many of them, doing practical work with tools was a really new experience and something they hadn’t done before.
"The students brought lots of enthusiasm to the day and made a huge impact in the time they were there – they all did a brilliant job.”