People with learning disabilities helping to create a greener environment

Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA), in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, is running a Year of Volunteering campaign, aiming to raise the profile of volunteering and increase the number of opportunities available across the borough. CWVA’s volunteer-matching website helps people find the right opportunity for them and each month during the campaign will focus on a different theme.

Vivo Care Choices’ Green team provides the opportunity for people with learning disabilities to take part in outdoor projects they love and help the community at the same time.

The Green team officially launched last summer and has been active across west Cheshire, helping to transform areas at Grosvenor Park in Chester, St Mary’s in Handbridge and Grange Community Primary School in Winsford to name a few just a few projects.

The amount of time people volunteer depends on their level of interest, and the aim is to turn volunteering opportunities into supported employment opportunities as the team continues to expand.

February has been labelled Environmental Month to tie in with the Council’s Climate Emergency campaign, and the Green team’s efforts show how people can make a big difference in their community.

Nicola, who is part of the Green team, said: “We all enjoy it. We do a lot of digging and it can be hard work, but it is a lot of fun.”

Donna Dobson, Senior Support Worker and Green Team Coordinator, added: “The team has been supporting local parks, schools and churches to develop gardens, allotments and generally tidying up.

“It’s all about finding people who enjoy going out in the community to support different projects.

“They really enjoy their time when they’re out and about and it helps them learn many different skills they wouldn’t have without the Green team.

“The end results of some of our projects have been fantastic and you can really see how the team’s work is going to benefit the local community.

“We’re growing all the time and we’re always on the look out for new projects to get involved with.”

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