This is an archived press release
Wednesday 6 January 2016
A Peak District project that helps people to improve their employment and life skills has won a UK National Parks Volunteer Award.
Fit for Work triumphed in the project category, winning a £1,000 bursary towards future volunteering efforts.
Fit for Work is run by the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland Community Rehabilitation Company and gives people the opportunity to gain work experience and references from four days each month with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, as well as similar arrangements with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the Canal & River Trust.
During their time in the Peak District National Park, they learn skills such as dry stone walling, leading to NVQ certificates in countryside management.
Television presenter Julia Bradbury, one of the judges, said she was drawn to the Fit For Work project because it seeks to broaden the reach and influence that a national park can have.
She said: “This project engages in the most practical and worthwhile way with people who really need and will really benefit from outdoor activities and ‘landscape therapy’. Without this help and guidance the target group, coming from a mainly urban background, are unlikely to explore the delights of the Peak District. Remember that the Peak District – the first national park – was created as the 'lung' and catchment for three great northern conurbations. This project echoes the history of the Peak District perfectly."
Dave Cramp, conservation volunteers officer at the Peak District National Park, said: “It’s wonderful news that reflects the progress the members of the group made. They came to the conclusion that they needed to make changes in their life to move forward, and that is a very powerful thing to do. It was great to see them make such a positive contribution to their local National Park.’’
Lesley Roberts, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “I am particularly delighted that this project has been recognised. Volunteering is at the heart of everything we do and the success of Fit For Work shows that it is something we do really well.’’
Learn more about volunteering in the Peak District National Park.