A REDDITCH charity has been providing opportunities for young people in the area to develop new skills and strengthen their career prospects through The Prince’s Trust Team programme.

Batchley Support Group, on Salters Lane, welcomed a group of students to landscape an outdoor area – and has previously taken on a young person from the team programme as an apprentice.

The local Prince’s Trust Programme is based at Evesham College and is delivered in Worcestershire by college group WCG, which is the largest provider of programmes for the Trust in England.

Lacey James, aged 18, was accepted for work experience with Batchley Support Group after completing a project with the Redditch Team 1 via the Trust and within days was offered an apprenticeship with the charity.

She then supported the organisation for Redditch Team 2 to visit the site and carry out works to renovate, lightly landscape and beautify the outdoor area.

Lacey, from Redditch, said: “Before I got the call to ask me to join the 12-week course with WCG and The Prince’s Trust, I was just sitting at home and not doing much with my life.

“After we completed the project, we had to get work placements and Batchley Support Group agreed to take me on. After three days I was offered an apprenticeship, it was brilliant and I quickly became qualified in first aid and food hygiene.

“I’ve been here for seven months now and it’s amazing. It was great to be able to get another Prince’s Trust Team down on the site for their community project too.”

The project included removing rubbish, flattening the back seating area and creating multiple seating areas. They also planted flowers, painted, added fence panels, power washed, placed paving stones, and organised the outdoor storage container.

Batchley Support Group was established in 1984 and supports the community in Redditch, with services including education and a community pantry.

The group has already offered further work experience opportunities to the young people involved in the project.

Mark Barron, manager at Batchley Support Group, added: “We discussed the possibility of having a project for Lacey as our gardens needed serious work. The team came in, we gave them free rein and it’s been a joy to have them on site.

“They put a lot of effort into the work and have created a nice space for people to visit, sit quietly and reflect.

“Lacey has been excellent since joining us. She shone during her placement and showed great potential right away. She has proven herself to be very mature and we see her develop professionally every day. Sometimes young people like Lacey just need a chance to shine.

“We’re keen to keep working with the Prince’s Trust and offer work experience where we can. Those we have already had on work experience have had great enthusiasm and shown great development in the workplace.”

John Morris, The Prince’s Trust team leader at WCG, said: “Lacey is a great example of what makes the Team programme so effective and it’s made possible with the support of organisations like Batchley Support Group.

“The young people really took to the project on site, made a real impact and showed great initiative to drive it forwards.”