Fareham garden is transformed thanks to council apprentices

The Brathay Challenge team of apprentices
The Brathay Challenge team of apprentices
A massive blaze has destroyed an area in the New Forest the size of 50 football pitches. Photo: Mike Thompson

New Forest ravaged by a huge fire the size of ‘50 football pitches’

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A garden was transformed by a team of dedicated apprentices from Hampshire County Council.

The Rainbow Centre, in Fareham, was given a makeover thanks to the hard work of the apprentices taking part in the Brathay Challenge.

The goal was to show young people how volunteering could increase their employability.

Katie Marke

As part of the challenge, they had to complete a community aspect and raise money.

The national Brathay Apprentice Challenge sees teams from across the country take part in a series of challenges for the opportunity to be crowned apprentice team of the year.

Last week, the team helped to transform the outdoor space at The Rainbow Centre which looks after children with cerebral palsy and adults with Parkinson’s or who have suffered a stroke or head injury.

Its garden forms a key focus for many of its activities and provides the users with an important area to help their development and growth.

The apprentices, supported by a number of young volunteers who are currently not in employment, education or training, jet-washed, weeded, planted and painted to reinvigorate the garden.

Apprentice Katie Marke says: ‘The goal was to show young people how volunteering could increase their employability. Volunteering looks so good on a young person’s CV.’

Brathay Apprentice Challenge team member Lawrence Silvester adds: ‘It was a great experience and we got to meet some amazing people.

‘I’m glad we got the opportunity to help out at The Rainbow Centre.’

Funds to complete the challenge were raised by a previous online silent auction with prizes donated by Southampton Football Club, Ringwood Brewery and Rolls-Royce.

A sponsored abseil down the Spinnaker Tower was also completed by apprentice Rebecca Bishop together with a 50-mile cycle ride by apprentice Lawrence Silvester.