Nottingham youths become foresters for a day

a wide range of environmental projects, across the city, benefit to the wider community, Christian faith, Forest Recreation Ground, positive impact, youth engagement,

Friday 24th July 2015

On Saturday 18 July, a group of young people from the Victory Youth Group (VYG) branch based in Nottingham’s UCKG HelpCentre generously gave their time to help care for the trees in the city’s ever popular Forest Recreation Ground. This was their contribution to the VYG’s annual ‘We Care! – Youth Engagement’ initiative, which provides help with a wide range of environmental projects throughout the UK.

The volunteers were tasked with removing the side shoots that sometimes form close to the base of tree trunks and are known technically as epecormic growth Not only does this growth look unsightly, it can also consume some of the nutrients that would otherwise reach the tree canopy.

Matt Akers Nottingham City Council park ranger explained: “The volunteers used loppers to cut away the growth and make a neat pile ready for collection by the grounds staff.

“Nottingham City Council and the park ranger service rely heavily on volunteers to help carry out various tasks across the city. Without groups like the Victory Youth Group our parks and open spaces wouldn’t be the beautiful places that they are, so a big thank you to you all!”

We Care! – Youth Engagement is an annual event with twin aims. The first is to make a positive difference in the volunteers’ local communities. Secondly, VYG wants to tackle negative stereotypes of young people and show that they are valuable citizens to whom we can trust the future.

The way the We Care! – Youth Engagement weekend is set up, is that the UCKG HelpCentre, a charity and Pentecostal church, approaches local authorities everywhere it has established HelpCentres. Arrangements are made for a team of youths from the local VYG to undertake a task of benefit to the wider community.

This year there has been an excellent response, with over 110 youths from a total of 15 different HelpCentres, from Manchester to Peckham and Leicester to Cardiff taking part.

Kim Powell the UCKG HelpCentre’s Community Outreach Coordinator said: “Youths are often blamed for disturbances in their local communities. Yet, as we know in the VYG, many young people are really keen to make a positive impact in the places where they live. We hope this community outreach initiative will help to encourage positive attitudes toward young people.”


Notes to editors


UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.

VYG is the UCKG HelpCentre’s youth group. Open to 15 – 25 year olds, the VYG provides family-style peer group support and helps and encourages the young to be the best that they can be.

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on or direct line 020 7686 6033.

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