Young Mansfield volunteers win Lafarge Community Impact Award at The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards

A group of young people from Mansfield celebrated after they were presented with the Lafarge Tarmac Community Impact Award at The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards in Derby.

Mansfield Team 23 A group of unemployed young people were facing challenges including disabilities, leaving the care system and underachievement at school when they joined a Prince’s Trust programme. Uniting on a project to help a hostel for homeless for 16 to 25 year-olds at Sandfield Close Hostel.

Nikki Symcox, 22, of Bellamy, said: “The ceremony has been amazing and we’re all so pleased that our project has been recognised like this. We’ve all overcome so much to be here and things are looking up for us now. A big thank you to The Prince’s Trust for their support.”

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Cyrille Ragoucy, CEO at Lafarge Tarmac said: “We are proud to congratulate everyone in Mansfield Team 23 on for winning the Lafarge Tarmac Community Impact award. We are delighted to see them rewarded for the incredible impact they have made on their local community through team work, dedication and perseverance. What an amazing achievement.”

First they painted fences and moved the rubbish area. Next, they added decking – designed by two of the team with guidance from their Team Leader. The whole team joined in with building work, which included fitting seats made out of railway sleepers and constructing a pagoda. Learning negotiation and carpentry skills, they were able to get discounts from building materials suppliers and turn their vision into practice.

The team’s perseverance and problem-solving skills and were tested when vandals damaged the fences. Refusing to be deterred, they decided to take positive action to engage with the local community, distributing leaflets to publicise the work they were doing. This also resulted in a parent offering to pay for repairs.

As the project progressed, the young people became strong communicators and team players.

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Every member of the group went on to complete a work placement before applying for college courses, jobs or voluntary work. Meanwhile, hostel residents now have a low maintenance outdoor area with a vegetable garden and pizza oven on the way.

“I’d been on a lot of courses before Team but nothing drew me in like this one,” says Kelly, 18, who had recently left care. “I feel a lot less frustrated and can deal with other people much better. I have confidence I’ve never felt before.”