Pendle young people blitzing grot spots and creating pride

Five young people are helping to clean up Pendle and create pride in the borough through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.

The scheme gives people aged between 16 and 24 who are receiving Universal Credit an opportunity to get into work and learn new skills through a six month placement.

It’s already proving a big success locally with the young people working at Pendle Council praising the opportunities given to them.

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Shaun Kelly (21) said: “It’s brilliant. I get to go out and explore areas in Pendle that I’ve never seen before. I enjoy working outdoors and helping to keep the towns clean and tidy.”

Kenny Handford, Liam Pickering, Shaun Kelly and James Kavanagh

As well as clearing grot spots and litter picking, James Kavanagh (22) has been helping the council’s crews to collect waste and recycling, including assisted collections for residents who need extra support.

He said: “I’m really enjoying working with people I wouldn’t usually meet. I’ve made some new friends and we all work well together.

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“Working for Pendle Council is great. It gets me outdoors!”

Kenny Handford, who supervises the team, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for young people who may not otherwise get a break.

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“The lads are all from different backgrounds and for some it’s their first experience of working. It’s brilliant to see them flourish. They are on time, polite, hardworking and a pleasure to supervise.

“Some of the projects they’ve worked on include painting over graffiti on the bridge in Salterforth and clearing up the wooded area off Colne Road in Barrowford.”

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As well as working as part of the Council’s Waste Services team, they receive a full package of training and support which will give them transferrable skills.

Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “Thanks to the Kickstart Scheme we’ve been able to give young people a chance to get into work.

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“It’s fantastic to see that they’ve risen to the challenge and have proved to be invaluable members of the team in a short space of time.”