Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Blossom: Skills for Life, Spaces for Nature is an employability and skills building project that enables 10-30 participants (depending on the funding level) to obtain accredited qualifications relating to conservation, horticulture and the environment, as well as building softer skills, such as teamworking, communication and confidence. The project will target people in most need, such as people who are unemployed and/or people from socio-economically deprived areas, and offer them a safe place to meet, socialise, and learn new skills whilst developing the Secret Garden, a site Wild Elements manage and use for gardening, horticultural and joinery projects and the Job Club.

Project Aims:
- Engage a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 participants to expand and develop the Secret Garden at Penrhyn Castle to include additional space to grow more fruit and vegetables and make the garden more attractive
- Enable participants to obtain 1-3 accredited qualifications in environment, conservation and horticulture to improve employability and job prospects
- Improve participant digital, budgeting and joinery skills
- Boost participant confidence, positive self-esteem and general well-being
- Provide more accessible areas to improve access for people with disabilities
- Improve and extend wildlife habitat
- Connect people with wildlife and the outdoors

The project will involve working with participants to develop, extend and improve the Secret Garden. Through developing the Secret Garden, participants will work through the accredited qualification/s, learning new skills and obtaining new knowledge. In addition to the accredited qualifications, the project will enhance participants’ digital skills and online research skills through using hand-held mobile devices to research plants, soils, aspects and the benefits to wildlife and the environment.

Joinery and budgeting skills will also be learned, as participants will learn how to budget materials and contents to make a bench/combined bench-planter. This will, in turn, provide more accessible areas within the garden, improving access for people with disabilities.

Wild Elements has run several similar projects, and we watch individuals change and grow as they develop many skills throughout the project, from teamwork and communication, to upskilling and improved confidence, as completing tasks successfully requires interacting with others. Participants who have undertaken previous similar projects with us have changed their lives, through entering employment and further education, saving money through learning how to grow their own food, improving their well-being and confidence, and we also have several participants who have continued volunteering with us. We expect this project to have similar outcomes, and will evaluate the project via participant surveys, 1-3 case studies and lots of pictures.

The project also fufils Wild Elements's long-term aim of transforming the Secret Garden into a functioning growing garden to enable school and club visits, to demonstrate the value of growing your own food and to provide a long-standing community space to socialise and learn new skills.

Project partners Penrhyn Castle, Fast Track to Skills and Partneriaeth Maesgeirchan Partnership are fully in support of Blossom: Skills for Life, Spaces for Nature, as we have previously worked closely with all partners and they have seen the benefits to the local community. Blossom: Skills for Life, Spaces for Nature also fulfils skills gaps identified through discussions with local Jobcentres and Careers Officers.

Project Video

Wild Elements CIC

Moment of Pride

We passionately encourage people to enjoy nature and change people's lives through projects and volunteering. Working with communities, schools and individuals, we provide people with opportunities to experience nature, learn skills, build confidence, and positively impact their local environment.

Location: North Wales, United Kingdom