A year in the life of the VPA programme

A look back at the VPA Programme in 2012!


In January we welcomed 10 new VPAs to the trust. We went on a chilly residential to the Peak District – provided by Peak Park Conservation Volunteers. The team soon warmed up with an activity of Hawthorn clearance and (very safe and controlled) burning!


lili's swan raft 001 lili's swan raft 003

In February the team had some fun trips out to Lightshaw Meadows with the Greater Manchester Forest Network as part of a skills share and to Groundwork Offshoots project to learn about permaculture and food growing.

Picture 028

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We also welcomed Jeanette and Sam who joined the All That team at the Oldham Evening Chronicle to make the second edition of the Oldham’s dedicated youth magazine.

peshkarphotosam and jeanette


In March our team delivered some fantastic projects and we celebrated their achievements. Two of our volunteers, Annie and Natalie, even got to go on a trip to Pakistan as part of a partnership project with Voluntary Action Oldham!


Isabel Mactague was succesful in gaining a job here at Groundwork as Business Development Coordinator
Rachel Parks gained employment as a Marine Biologist down in Weymouth
Lili Briggs gained employment with Groundwork as a Heritage Project Officer
Steven Lardner gained employment as a Project Manager in London


In April we said goodbye to Sam and Jeanette and welcomed a new team of VPAs at Oldham Evening Chronicle – Natasha, Sam and Stephen

Sam went on to get a teaching job in Japan and Jeanette secured not one but two PT jobs at Barnardos as youth worker and volunteer coordinator!



In a lovely sunny day in May we welcomed a new team of 9 VPAs at Groundwork. The team worked on variety of projects – organising community events, reservoir trails, community action team and employability.


In June we said a farewell to our Oldham Evening Chronicle Volunteers – Sam, Natasha and Stephen. Sam went on to work with the team at the Chronicle and also runs ultimate frisbee sessions every Monday at Mahdlo youth zone.


In July we welcomed a new team of VPAs at the Oldham Evening Chronicle – Steph, Chris and Gary. The team took charge of the social media outlets – improved the all that blog and increased the number of followers the project had on twitter as well as getting a number of articles on young people into the paper.



In August our summer team came to an end and we celebrated with a presentation and a trip to Hollingworth Lake for some fun raft building.



In September we welcomed a smiley new team of 11 volunteers to Groundwork. One of the team was placed at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and in week 10 he was succesful in applying for a job as a Neighbourhood Officer there.


In October our VPAs organised a series of projects on our nature sites




We also went our for a fun and rainy team trip to Brockholes to do a bit of tree ID and of course eat cake 🙂


In November we welcomed a new All That team thanks to National Lottery Awards for All funding which will enable the project to run for another year!

Daniel, Jake and Kim

In November Natalie joined the VPA team as a Princes Trust Assistant Team Leader



More recently we have celebrated reaching a landmark of 2000 VPAs at Groundwork.

It was a fantastic and busy year with 42 volunteers taking part in the programme. We are really looking forward to welcoming new volunteers both at Groundwork and with our partner organisations in February. To apply to join the next scheme please email gemma.russell@groundwork.org.uk or call us on 01616 241 444.



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