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Stroud charity seeks unemployed conservation volunteers

Volunteer Chris Amatt on a Stroud Valleys Project conservation day.
Volunteers are being sought to help a Stroud conservation charity.

Unemployed volunteers with an interest in conservation work are being sought by a Gloucestershire charity.

The Stroud Valleys Project is looking to recruit a team of volunteers to help plant hedges and install kissing gates.

The work will be undertaken in and around Stroud and Frampton-on-Severn following a £5,000 grant from Gloucestershire County Council.

The grant was awarded to the charity by the Voluntary and Community sector of the council, which set up a scheme last year to help charities affected by the recession.

I know it sounds daft, but it's a nice break from the house, and it's out in the fields with friendly people.
Luke Peacey: Volunteer

Stroud Valleys Project applied for funding after noticing an increase in the number of people who had lost their jobs and wanted to get involved with volunteering.

Clare Mahdiyone, director of projects at the charity, said: "We realised that we were getting more inquiries about volunteering since the recession started but had limited staff hours to cover the demand.

"This grant from the county council means that we can now run more practical conservation days for unemployed people who want to learn more about the countryside and leave a legacy like a kissing gate or a new hedge.

"Our experience shows that unemployed people gain a great deal of confidence from working in a team and meeting new people as well as learning different skills."

Luke Peacey, one of the charity's existing volunteers, said: "Volunteering is really fun. I get outside and stuck into all sorts of jobs, like planting hedges and cutting back shrubs.

"It gives me a sense that I've actually done something with the week.

"I know it sounds daft, but it's a nice break from the house, and it's out in the fields with friendly people."

Willing volunteers are advised to contact the SVP office on 01453 753358 or to click here to visit the Stroud Valleys Project website.

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