West Cornwall jobseekers have been helping with conservation at Bosavern Community Farm in St.Just as part of a National Lottery funded project.
Ten participants from Who Dares Works spent a week preparing land for the conservation of Cornish Black Bees. They also fenced a chicken run and built a new, farm-sized compost heap, gaining valuable work experience and skills while boosting confidence and wellbeing.
Ruby Ferris, who took part in the week-long activity said: “Before being given this opportunity I was unemployed for 5 years because of poor mental health. After completing this course, I have been given the opportunity to meet new people and my self-worth has increased. This course has opened up many new opportunities and I’m confident it will result in finding full time employment.”
Who Dares Works is a partnership of 17 organisations, led by Active Plus, funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, helping people in West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to get back into training, education and work. Who Dares Builds, delivered by Rebuild South West, is one of the work-related opportunities that participants can undertake.
Craig Little from Rebuild South West praised the participants saying “Everyone worked together really well and achieved much more in a week than any of them thought they would. It was a pleasure to work alongside such positive and hard-working people”
Cornish Black Bees are important to local bio-diversity as, unlike their honey-bee cousins, they can flourish in Cornish mizzle. Mark Yeoman, Who Dares Works Partnership Manager said: “This activity is a win-win-win that brings together all aspects of sustainable development. The participants gain from increased wellbeing, skills and experience; the environment gains from the active conservation of a locally important bee and the local economy benefits through supporting the community farm. All thanks to National Lottery players and investment from the European Social Fund.”
The group will continue to work with mentors to look at their next steps, including further work related activity and specialist support, while individuals will continue to volunteer weekly at the farm.
Summing up the activity, Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, said, “Congratulations to everyone involved in this project, it really is excellent to hear about these positive outcomes. Whilst the big structural investments may steal the headlines when it comes to European investments, we must not forget the crucial work that supports the people and skills development in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. I wish the people involved in the project the very best for their futures and a bright, prosperous career.”
To find out more about Who Dares Works, call 01872 300236 or