CHESHIRE Wildlife Trust has received an award for its work with young people across the region.
The charity was a winner in the Cheshire West & Chester Council Positive Awards for Business, receiving a prize for their work in training young people who have worked with the Trust under the Future Jobs Fund scheme.
The council are the accountable body for the Future Jobs Fund project in the area.
Since spring this year, the trust has hosted six young people as part of the Future Jobs Fund scheme, taking on projects as varied as graphic design, environmental education and practical conservation management.
The paid placements, lasting up to six months, allow young people to become an integrated member of the team taking on individual responsibilities, tasks and building on their skills through support and training from members of the trust’s full-time staff.
The trust, who are based at Bickley Hall Farm on the Cholmondley Estate, manage over 40 nature reserves across the region stretching from the Wirral, through Mid-Cheshire and across to Macclesfield Forest, along with sites close to the Mersey and into Greater Manchester.
The conservation charity also works with landowners and local communities providing advice and educational opportunities, including bringing children from urban areas to experience wildlife and the countryside as part of their ambitious Living Landscape scheme.
Dr. Janel Fone, Chief Executive of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The Future Jobs Fund placements have been invaluable to the trust, allowing us to expand or improve the quality of many areas of our work such as our school visits and how we communicate to the public and our members.
“The success of schemes such as our Conservation Grazing project has often stretched our own team, and the support of young people through the Future Jobs Fund has ensured that we have been able to continue to progress these projects.
“This award is not just in recognition of the work the trust’s staff have done in developing the skills of young people, but also the contribution that they have made to our valuable conservation and community work.
“Following the success of the scheme, it was disappointing for us to learn that the Future Jobs Fund will not be progressed beyond 2011, as a result of the new Government’s austerity measures.
“We will continue to offer support to young people however through our volunteering opportunities and other short-term schemes.”
Liz Hignett, Future Jobs Fund Co-ordinator for Cheshire West and Chester said: “Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been a highly supportive and positive organisation to work with – they have worked well with each Future Jobs Fund employee and have given the best possible training ensuring individuals return to the work place with a wealth of experience.”
The awards, hosted by Cheshire West & Chester Council aim to recognise, reward and celebrate good practice which exists throughout the business community of Cheshire.
The trust’s award was presented at a special ceremony at the Queen Hotel in Chester.