Environmental volunteering in Wiltshire

Seeds4Success is a youth charity that provides developmental opportunities to young people in South West Wiltshire. We have provided the charity with a grant from our Environment Fund 2022 to help them hold conservational and environmental volunteering sessions.

We caught up with Jaki Farrell, who is the Charity Director, to learn more.

Tell us a bit about Seeds4Success.

We enable young people to access programmes that develop practical skills, enhance education, improve employability, provide recreational activities, conserve the natural environment and strengthen the local community.

What is your Leisure Credit Programme

Our Leisure Credits Programme enables young people to earn rewards by taking part in volunteering activities. We work with local groups and parish councils to carry out these activities, which include clearing footpaths, building bridges, and tidying communal areas, church yards and playgrounds, as well as any practical work that might be required to benefit the community or environment.

How does the programme benefit young people?

The programme helps them to develop practical and teamworking skills, as well as a positive work ethic. It also helps to challenge some of the negative stereotypes that surround the younger generation. Those that take part in volunteering gain a real sense of achievement and ownership which helps to increase their confidence and self-worth.

Most of the young people we work with have limited access to part-time employment, so we aim to give them access to opportunities and experiences, while also reducing pressure on parents/carers who are under financial pressure to pay for trips and activities.

Young Wiltshire Volunteers for Seeds4Success

How do your credits and rewards work?

They earn ‘credits’ based on their involvement in the activity, taking into account how hard they worked and how they helped others. Credits can be redeemed for social activities, such as visits to the cinema, waterparks, theme parks or go-karting. Others may save their credits to help with the cost of other things, such as driving lessons.

What will our grant be used for?

The grant from Wessex Water will help us to carry out conservational and environmental activities, which will involve managing green spaces and removing invasive species to help wildlife flourish. They will also plant trees, grow vegetables, and build bird boxes and bug hotels. Those that take part will then earn credits that can be used to take part in organised group leisure activities.