20 February 2013
Student volunteers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have teamed up with other North West universities to give a regional park an eco-makeover.
The 18 UCLan students from the Preston and Burnley campuses joined others from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Universities of Manchester, Salford and Bolton to regenerate a community garden in Manchester’s Platt Fields Park as part of Student Volunteering Week.
The 70 volunteers braved snowy conditions to clear the site that had fallen into disrepair and is in the process of being transformed into an eco-friendly garden. They cut back brambles and removed litter before re-building a grass sofa, making a fence out of willow and creating a herb garden.
“This was a great opportunity for students from different universities to make a real impact. It’s a vital part of being a student and getting the full university experience.”
The event was partly co-ordinated by Bob Walley from UCLan’s Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership who invited the geography and community leadership students to take part.
He commented: “This was a great opportunity for students from different universities to make a real impact. I love doing these kinds of events and getting students involved in the community, it’s a vital part of being a student and getting the full university experience.”
UCLan student Kathryn Seddon said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the project and it’s satisfying to see the results of our hard work, even if the weather was against us. The event provided a great chance to meet new people while working for a worthwhile cause.”
The four universities partnered with community partners Envirolution UK, Coffee Crank, and the Friends of Platt Fields Park for the project and the garden will be used in the forthcoming Envirolution festival on the 25 May. Envirolution is a community co-operative based in Greater Manchester which aims to create a catalyst for environmental and social change.
The Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership at UCLan works alongside a range of people in the community including students, volunteers and grassroots groups. Since 1999, UCLan has provided over 6,000 young people and students across Lancashire and Cumbria with volunteering and community action opportunities.
Photography by Richard Meftah, BA (Hons) Photography, University of Salford.