Students help get city clean for the Queen
Gloucestershire College has joined forces with Gloucester City Council and Tesco Gloucester to help clean up the city of Gloucester in preparation for the Queen’s 90th birthday in April.
Over 70 Independent Living students from the College’s Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest of Dean campuses are volunteering their time to help with the initiative, which has so far seen them spring clean local communities in Longlevens, Gloucester city centre and Five Acres.
Across 17 scheduled sessions, the students are litter picking, sorting and recycling, in addition to learning about the importance of recycling and its impact on the community, in talks delivered by Gloucester City Council.
As part of the GC Independent Living course, students complete units on environmental issues and an awareness of the diverse communities that make up our society. The Clean for the Queen Initiative is helping them understand and achieve these, and give something back to the community, whilst gaining work experience for their CVs and the skills and confidence to prepare for further education and employment.
Tesco Gloucester is encouraging its staff to join in with the mass effort, whilst also providing water and healthy snacks for students, while the council is providing recycling bins, refuse sacks, ‘Clean for the Queen’ tabards, certificates for students and additional support for students.
Simeon Willis, Foundation Studies Lecturer, said: “The students are doing a fantastic job so far; during the litter picks I have been involved in, we have collected up to six bags of litter per hour. Students have also been learning how long it takes for litter to break down, for example, tin cans take 50 years, aluminium cans over 200 years, and cigarette butts over 10 years to completely decompose in landfill.
“The students are also learning a range of skills, including developing a greater understanding of the community and what we can do to help, team and pair working, following instruction and being aware of dangers such as traffic and hazardous materials.”
Independent Living courses are available to young people aged 16 to 24 who need to build their confidence, improve social and personal skills, and/or learn independent living skills – in small groups supported by Learning Mentors, Teaching Assistants and, where required, Learning Support Assistants.
For more information visit www.gloscol.ac.uk/independentliving or call Student Services on 0345 155 2020.