Green project enters community contest
A CONSERVATION project in Blaenau Gwent is the latest entry in a competition to give community initiatives a helping hand.
Offenders working with Gwent Probation Service are available to lend their help as part of the unpaid work requirement of their punishment orders, doing what used to be known as community service.
The Argus ran a similar competition in 2006, and the winner was schoolboy Craig Hale who was concerned about the amount of rubbish in the canals in the Risca area.
The latest entry in this year's competition is the British Trust Conservation Volunteers, based locally in Ebbw Vale.
Set up in 1959, BTCV is the UKs leading practical conservation charity, and supports 140,000 volunteers every year to help them improve their environment and learn new skills at the same time.
Ian Murphy is the BTCV community enterprise officer for Blaenau Gwent, and he is looking for extra help with some of his local projects.
He said: "We are running a new scheme called the Geo Project, in partnership with Community Enterprise Wales.
"The aim of the Geo Project is to offer support to local environmental projects and identify opportunities for volunteering and training to overcome barriers to employment.
"We do a lot of gardening projects, for the elderly and for schools.
"Recently we helped create a woodland school in Thornhill, putting in a Japanese garden, bird habitats and outdoor classrooms.
"A group for the over 50s has just approached us, a pensioners community who want all their gardens done, so we want people to help them.
"All our projects are for the benefit of the community."
Anyone wishing to nominate a scheme should write to Sam Rkaina, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Maesglas, Newport, NP20 3QN.
The deadline for entries is Friday, February 8.