Prince’s Trust Hinckley request donations after fundraising halted by coronavirus

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

A member of the team hard at work.

The Hinckley Prince’s Trust team are desperately seeking donations for two big gardening projects due to the coronavirus pandemic curtailing fundraising efforts.

The programme is a 12-week course which offers unemployed young people aged 16-25 a chance to meet new people, gain new skills and boost their confidence.

The pandemic has hit the team programme hard yet services are needed more than ever with youth unemployment rising to its highest level in two years.

“It’s difficult because we haven’t been able to do the fundraising we would normally do for these projects,” said Michelle Keatman, the assistant team leader for groups across Leicestershire.

“We raise around £250 just for an Asda bag pack and now that is totally gone.”

The team of young people, who have been split into two bubbles, will be working hard next week to renovate an outdoor area at the Hinckley Police Station and clear a space at Next Generation, a volunteering charity.

One half of the team will clear the overgrown outdoor area at Next Generation.

The team are looking to the generous people of Hinckley and the surrounding areas to donate any unwanted gardening equipment.

Key items wanted for upcycling include trellises, planting beds and outdoor chairs.

However, there is one thing in particular Michelle is keen to get a hold of for the police station project.

“A picnic bench would be ideal. It’s a small area but we want to make it into a nice chill out space for the officers.”

The team are also on the hunt for something to provide privacy from overhanging flats.

The work has already begun with members of the group painting plant pots in preparation for beginning the hard graft next week.

Michelle says times are tough but the work is invaluable.

“We are so grateful to even have a team programme running right now. Times are tough and these groups are extremely valuable with so many young people out of work,” she said.

Despite struggling to source everything needed so far Michelle is not concerned about the ability of the group.

“We aren’t DIY SOS or anything – I don’t know what the projects are going to look like, I just know they will look good.”

If you have anything to donate or want more information on future team programmes in Leicestershire, contact Michelle on 07858 300255 or email mkeatman@wcg.ac.uk.

Donations will all be collected in a COVID-safe manner.

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