Personal Development Programme Success

A successful personal development programme jointly funded through Burnside College, Community Foundation and the Northumberland National Park Sustainable Development Fund has reached a successful end.  The programme focused on the skills and uses of gardening and horticulture as both an enjoyable and environmentally sustainable past time.   The programme has also provided an excellent opportunity for learners to develop personal transferable skills in areas such as team work, communication, planning and organisation.

Since January the group have undertaken a number of tasks, activities and inter-programme projects including:

  • Raised Bed Construction — Learners worked together to build four raised beds at Burnside College.   The beds have been planted up with a wide variety of root vegetables, peas and beans to help promote the culture of growing your own produce within the school.
  • Gardening and Horticulture Skill Development — Learners have taken part in a number of educational visits and practical sessions to learn the skills required to prepare and maintain the healthy growth of plants.
  • Enterprise Projects — The group worked together to use the skills and knowledge they developed over the course of the programme to successfully plan, produce and sell a recipe book to promote environmental sustainability through eating and growing seasonal produce.   The recipe book not only provided detailed recipes and provided a list of seasonal produce but provided detailed instructions of how to build your own raised bed, giving readers a way in which to grow their own produce regardless of location.   The enterprise project was so successful that they managed to sell over 65 copies at £1 each, making enough money for the group to take part in an ice skating session at Whitley Bay Ice Rink.
  • Indoor and Outdoor Cooking — The group developed their cooking skills as an addition to the skills developed in sustainable gardening.   They enjoyed a number of indoor and outdoor cooking sessions.
  • During the programme the group have also been gathering evidence towards an Edexel Level 1 Certificate in Vocational Studies.


Congratulations to all of the hard work and effort shown from the eight young people involved in the programme and the best of luck for the future.

Stewart Ellison

Programme Leader

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