Good young citizens pitch in at the park...

Painting benches at Richmond Park in Gainsborough G130730-2
Painting benches at Richmond Park in Gainsborough G130730-2

A lick of paint and a splash of colour have been given to Richmond Park in Gainsborough thanks to the hard for of 10 young people.

The youngsters, aged 16 and 17, spent the last four weeks volunteering as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme.

The first two weeks saw them focus on team building exercises, learning about product design with Coca Cola Enterprises, working on their CVs, body language and how to approach future employers.

Then came a few days spent at Trinity Arts Centre and canvassing around Gainsborough for donations towards their big park project.

Companies like B&Q and Al-Murad donated paints and equipment for the youngsters to use to spruce up Richmond Park.

“The group came up with a lot of ideas to change the park. They painted benches in bright colours like red and yellow to make them more appealling and attract more people into the park,” said team mentor Aneleise Spindley, aged 20.

“We painted the bins red so that everybody could see where they are and spread the message ‘don’t litter’.”

The team also raked and weeded the gardens, planted flowers, repainted the basketball courts and put up a new basketball hoop.

Games like hopscotch and mazes were also painted on the floor and the NCS logo stamped the team’s mark on their handiwork.

Said Aneleise: “The team I was in charge of were such good kids. They all enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.”

“It felt really good when parents came up to us and said what a good job we had done, and how much their children liked the new features.”

The scheme is aimed at young people who have just left school and are about to start college or sixth form.

It improves their CV by showing a range of skills and work in the community.

“They spent every day together for four weeks and forged some good friendships,” said Aneleise.

Aneleise herself is studying towards a teaching degree. Being a NCS team mentor has given her experience of working with a different age group than she is used to.

“It was such a great experience and I would advise any young person to give it a go,” she said.

“You get to try things you have never done before and you are giving back to your community.”