Croydon young people redesign and re-vamp community centre’s roof garden

By Tom Hussey

A group of young people are designing a roof garden as part of a social action project aimed at getting their lives back on track.

The young volunteers have been designing and gathering materials over lockdown to develop the roof garden at Croydon Volunteer Action Community Centre to make it a more usable space and are due to start work on December 7.

The group of five are part of a scheme called Head2Work, launched by environmental charity Groundwork back in September, which gives young people aged 18-24 from Croydon and surrounding areas the chance to develop skills to get back into employment, training and education.

Debbie Andrews, Project Officer for Head2Work said: “A lot of these kids have not had the best of starts.

“Our social action projects allow young people to develop their confidence, problem solving and working as a team.

“These skills can then be transferred from the social action projects to their CV’s with the help of a business mentor and help them get to where they need to go.”

The group were given a budget of £250 provided by the Greater London Authority and are also relying on donations for the project.

The rooftop garden is the second social action project organised by Head2Work which previously produced a short film which will be shown to Sadiq Khan.

The next action project will take place in January and will involve a clothes bank for the homeless.

The scheme has already put one young person in work and another is in a second round of interviews.

Ms Andrews said: “These projects give young people a real boost of their confidence to feel like they are involved because they come up with a project they want to do.

“It’s very easy for these young people to be at home playing xBox but it’s great that they are out doing this – getting themselves back being independent in their lives.”

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