Release date: 13 September 2018
Green-fingered members of the Oak Community Group have been living up to their name after getting to work in nearby woodland.
Working in partnership with countryside rangers from Adur and Worthing District Council, the adults who attend the West Sussex County Council-run day service have been working hard to ensure the woodland at Goring Gap is a pleasant place for all to enjoy.
And earlier this year all of their hard work in the woodland paid off after they were awarded a Countryside Award from the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Chris Hughes is the group’s Community Connector. He said: “Each week we come down here and we cut down the trees that are taking over the woods and try and create a more balanced biodiversity.
“The adults with disabilities come down and they cut down trees and clear away nettles and brambles and generally maintain the woodland in a good shape for everyone to enjoy.
“As well as this being of real benefit to the local community it offers a great opportunity to the members of the group, who not only have learnt valuable new skills, but also have the chance to engage with members of the community they meet there each week.”
The Oak Community Groups work is not based in a building, but organises daily activities within the community for its members to take part in. The weekly visits to Goring Gap are just one of a number of activities on offer to these adults.
Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “The Oak Community Project is a really rather special service that allows people to realise their potential while getting out and about in their local communities.
“It is brilliant that members of this group have been recognised by the CPRE for their hard work in improving the local woodland – what a wonderful accolade recognising that their efforts are really valued. It just goes to show that given a little encouragement and the right skillset the sky is the limit.”
A video of the Oak Community Project at work in Goring woods can be found here: https://youtu.be/rAzdj5PRjSI