Each August, Quadron Services client, Paragon Community Housing Group, runs a three-week ‘Stamp out Boredom’ project for young people aged 12 to 18 years old. The project has different activities each year to help the young people have fun, learn new skills work as a team and ‘stamp out boredom’ over the summer holidays.
As part of this year’s programme, a group of nine young people, three Paragon youth workers and Paragon’s Housing Tenancy Support Officer, Lee Grant, joined Quadron’s Corporate Development Manager, Andrew Kauffman to support the Kensington and Chelsea Ecology Team in constructing part of the path within the Forest School in Holland Park.
After an initial health and safety briefing and tool demonstration, the groups were split into two teams: the first group was tasked with repairs to the path’s log edging, removing damaged logs and re-pegging the edges, while the second group was charged with topping up the bark mulch and re-attaching any loose mypex membrane, before overtopping with fresh bark, which was kindly provided by the council’s arboricultural contractors, Tree Masters.
After doing some excellent work on the Forest School Path, the group visited Neija and Nimbus, a pair of long-horn cows who are spending a fortnight in the park to graze on grass and nettles in the arboretum and oak enclosures to improve conditions for next year’s wildflower meadow.
After meeting the cows and taking a break for lunch, it was on to the Holland Park tennis courts for a tennis masterclass from Quadron’s resident LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) tennis coach, Sam.
Trevor Bowyer, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Forest School Officer, said: “The young group from Paragon Housing were very willing and enthusiastic. The path laying project they helped to complete will give local schoolchildren easier access to the woods and help preserve the habitat. We would be more than happy to work with the Association again, and would like to thank the group for all their hard work.”
Preeti Chatwal, Quadron’s Service Development Manager, added: “As part of Quadron’s commitment and partnership working with Paragon Housing, we arrange a development project every year where the young people work together with Quadron’s team to learn new skills ranging from carrying out landscaping design consultations to helping to construct landscaping projects, all while having fun. We really enjoyed working with them, and I am sure they enjoyed it as well, as thy have promised to come back again next year!”
Lee Grant, Paragon’s Housing Tenancy Services Officer, said: “Feedback from the children was very positive and this was also confirmed by the youth workers who also attended.
“The day was very well structured, with the right balance of hard work and enjoyment afterwards. The tennis lesson proved very popular and gave the children opportunity to engage in an activity they would not normally associate with. Thank you to the Quadron team for putting in the time and effort. Hopefully we can have more of this type of activity in the future.”