Apprentices Lend Helping Hand At Local Hospice

A group of Horticulture Apprentices from East Durham College visited a local hospice today as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The six Apprentices spent the day volunteering at Saint Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham working in the gardens and grounds.

St. Cuthbert’s Hospice provides a range of care and support services to individuals, as well as to their relatives and carers, in and around Durham helping people to cope with life limiting illnesses.

Tony Plowman, who volunteers as Head Gardener at St. Cuthbert’s and is also Treasurer of The Houghall Horticultural Society, said: “It is wonderful to have the student volunteers helping with the development of the extensive grounds we have here.

“They are providing a great service helping maintain and improve the gardens, including our kitchen garden which has been created for the benefit of our day patients for them to relax in as well as helping to grow herbs, vegetables and salad for use in the Hospice’s catering.”

One of the Apprentices to take part was Christopher Raine, aged 17 from Sherburn Village, who is taking his Apprenticeship whilst working at Brambledown in Brandon - a leading civil, environmental and development contractors specialising in all aspects of landscaping and construction.

Chris added: “Today has let me put into practise what l have learnt during my apprenticeship and also to help the local community which is great.

“The Apprenticeship route has really worked for me. I get to work outdoors, learn about horticulture and gain a qualification. My goal is to hopefully gain a full time position at Brambledown and work towards a supervisory role.”

Alison Stephenson, an Apprenticeship Placement Officer at the College, explained a number of different Apprentices from the College are taking part in a series of activities as part of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week.

“I’m delighted that our Apprentices are involved in National Apprenticeship week. It highlights their skills and commitment to the programme, showing what a valuable asset they are to their employers or companies,” she said.