Kalysha Stapleton, 19, took part in a 12-week Prince’s Trust programme delivered by Lambeth College. Her team chose to renovate the playground areas of the Effra Early Years Centre as their community project. These are extracts from her blog, which was part of the project
We are the Prince’s Trust Lambeth College TEAM! (Brixton). We are 13 students aged 16-20 who are out of training, employment or education.
TEAM is a 12-week course aimed at getting young individuals like us back into some form of routine, ready for career progressions after the course. As part of the course we had to complete a community project.
This is a chance for the TEAM to give something back to an organisation or local community that could be limited in some way, shape or form, for example; getting on board to help renovate a school or re-decorate a church.
We decided to help a nursery in Brixton, the Effra Early Years centre, and bring back some of the life we and the head felt was missing, by doing small tasks (mainly in the outside areas of the nursery). There was plenty for us to get on with for the two weeks: varnishing the old wood, planting new flowers as well as laying new bark on the ground.
As a collective we needed to raise money to fund the task. We came up with various ideas but in the short space of time we had, we decided to go ahead with bag packing in ASDA in Clapham Junction for two days where we raised over £1,300.
There was a lot of relief that we did it, and the odd moan about our backs and legs as it was a hard two days standing for seven hours. We were over the moon and so proud that we collectively, with everyone’s determination and dedication, could and did raise the money.
This went toward resources like varnish, plant pots, shears, paints, spray paints and a load of other tools and resources.
I think that the project taught us as young people that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it.
We had set targets to meet, not only for the head of school Jan, but most importantly for the little ones and knowing that our hard work had paid off in recreating a fresh new outdoor space for learning and growth was a feeling I don’t think any one of us was truly prepared for.
It taught me personally that I still have that burning desire to give back to my local community, as essentially every little change matters and starting small benefits those in the long run.
We are the young leaders of the future and coming together through courses like The Prince’s Trust TEAM, helps us realise just how much of an importance we have and our actions have to those who need our help.
It’s just great that we got to help a local organisation that we can see now benefiting from our work. It was more than worthwhile! More than worthwhile.