A series of free events aimed at supporting people who face multiple and complex barriers to gaining employment is being planned at two areas of formerly derelict land which have been developed for community use.
In April two ‘Get Wild’ days will be held at Green Heart Den, two plots of land divided by several vacant railway arches in the heart of Barrow, which include a green open space in which people can relax and a community ‘grow your own’ scheme including raised planters, a small orchard and a wildlife area.

Those taking part will be able to decorate a bug hotel and plant their own seeds. There will also be the opportunity to complete Green Heart nature trail cards with the chance to win a prize.

The events are being run by the Building Better Opportunities Getting Cumbria to Work (BBO GCtW) project in collaboration with Marsh Street Arches and Garden Community Interest Company, which looks after Green Heart Den.

“They will be arts and crafts-based sessions with a nature theme,” explained Natalia Wealleans-Turner, project manager for BBO GCtW, which supports people in the Barrow and South Lakes area aged 18 and above, who are either unemployed or economically inactive.

“The activities are for our existing participants, their families and community members who are interested in joining our project,” she said Ms Wealleans-Turner.

She said the aim was to support current BBO GCtW participants to reintegrate with the wider world and people in a similar situation, which was particularly important following the periods of lockdown. They would also provide social opportunities for participants and their families to experience activities that would help boost their confidence and health and well-being and to learn about new things.

“We also want to provide an opportunity for people from the community, who are unemployed or have recently been made redundant, to find out about the BBO GCtW project and how they can join in,” said Ms Wealleans-Turner.

In July and September two ‘Nature Arts & Crafts’ events will be held at Green Heart Den, where people will be able to decorate their own pebble or bird box.

And in August ‘Join the Circus’ sessions will take place at the same venue, where people will be able to join in fun activities and decorate a pebble or circus mask.

Snacks, drinks and activity materials are included at all the events.
“These kind of events and activities will help to boost people’s social skills, confidence and self-esteem, all of which contribute to people being in a better position to seek out work and secure employment,” said Ms Wealleans-Turner.

Invitations will be sent to existing participants. Anyone else interested in learning more about the BBO GCtW project who would like to attend can contact Sam Davidson on 01229 829832 or by email: sdavidson@thewell2.co.uk

The Get Wild events will be held on April 3 and 24 from noon-1.30pm and 2.30pm-4pm.

The Nature Arts & Crafts events will be held on July 24 and September 11 from noon-1.30pm and 2.30pm-4pm. The Join the Circus events will be held on August 7 and 21 from noon-2.30pm.

The BBO GCtW project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund and is run by Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) in partnership with four charitable organisations – The Well at Barrow, Right2Work, Barrow Women’s Community Matters and Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS).

For more information about the project visit
www.gettingcumbriatowork.org.uk or search for Building Better Opportunities Getting Cumbria to Work on Facebook. People can also email: Paula.Johnson@cumbriacvs.org.uk or ring Paula on 07776 593795.

Captions for photographs
Pic 1 – The Green Heart Den at Barrow, the venue for the forthcoming events
Pic 2 – The Green Heart Den at Barrow


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