Community orchard trainees complete first course

Community orchard trainees complete first course

The first cohort of trainees at Newquay Community Orchard are celebrating completing their six-month course.

Molly Dunn, Luke Ball-Hymns, Dev Morgan and James Willcox have been working at Nansledan, the Duchy of Cornwall development in Newquay, keeping the area weed and litter free and caring for the fruit trees and herb beds that make up Nansledan’s ‘edible landscape’.

The team joined Urban Biodiversity’s Landscape Officer, Luke Reed, developing skills in management of public spaces and completed qualifications in Practical Outdoor Skills and Employability at Newquay Community Orchard.

Urban Biodiversity, who are contracted to provide landscape maintenance at Nansledan, is a community interest company based in Newquay which aims to reduce social deprivation by developing urban sites into places that offer benefits for the community, including training and employability, environmental education, food security and community events.

Their flagship project, Newquay Community Orchard, works with people from all walks of life every day.

Twenty one-year-old Molly, from Newquay, said she has ‘absolutely loved’ being a part of this course: “I have really enjoyed coming up to Nansledan and being a part of its development, learning on the job, being part of this team and making new friends. It’s been a real learning experience and I’m so happy I had the opportunity.”

A traineeship is an Education and Skills Funding Agency course with work experience that helps participants get ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last up to six months and is available for anyone aged 16 to 24 and qualified below Level 3.

The Newquay Community Orchard Traineeship Programme, funded by the Learning Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, gives young people the opportunity to learn practical skills through real-world work experience on an active site.

Hetty Ninnis, Horticulture Manager at Newquay Community Orchard, who has been a mentor throughout the process, said: “We’re really proud of our trainees from the Orchard. Not only because of the work they have done on this past year but in the ways they have grown personally.”

Luke Read, Landscape Officer at Urban Biodiversity, said: “It has been a real privilege to work with this team of trainees. They’ve come every day, rain or shine and their attitude and general friendliness makes me sure they’ll be a true asset for any employer in the future.”

In their final week on the course, the trainees met with Duchy of Cornwall Project Manager Peter James and Project Administrator Tracey Nicholas, who lead the development of Nansledan, to discuss their progress over the past six months.

Peter said: “We would just like to say a huge thank you for the hard work and commitment shown by the trainees from Newquay Community Orchard. Their engagement with the community and dedication to the traineeship has been wonderful to watch. They’ve set the bar high, but we are really excited to work with the next cohort of trainees.”

Hetty said: “It’s been wonderful to see them embrace the roles given to them, take on often physically difficult tasks and also share their knowledge with other volunteers at Newquay Community Orchard. We’ll miss them but wish them all the best!”

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