News from Rohan Long Preston – International Volunteers Create New Woodland

Serco and DARE tree planting with YDMT

 Volunteers from many different countries and backgrounds recently came together to help local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) plant 700 young saplings to create a new area of woodland near Settle. Everyone enjoyed spending time in the countryside and doing something practical to benefit the environment.

Staff from global service provider Serco’s COMPASS Contract, involved in the provision of housing and transport for asylum seekers in Lancashire, left their office in Warrington for a day to help plant native species including oak, holly, hawthorn, bird cherry and crab apple.

Lea Petrie, Transport team leader at Serco, said: “It’s been nice to visit the Yorkshire Dales and meet people from different backgrounds. I’ve learnt about the different types of trees that we’ve been planting.”

DARE service user with Carol Douglas

They were joined by refugees from Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria who are currently service users of the Darwen Asylum Seekers and Refugee Enterprise (DARE) which provides free English lessons and advice on finding employment, as well as working with YDMT to offer uplifting days out such as this in the Yorkshire Dales.

More than 500 people have benefitted from this long standing partnership between DARE and YDMT so far, including Habib Muhamed from Somalia. He said: “I am happy to be out today – normally I am always inside at home. It is good to be doing something. I am so happy to be helping the environment by planting the trees.”

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