Course provides 'Green Skills' for the future

Man with a spade stood in woodland clearing

Ryan Pritchard , who is on a Green Skills course - Credit: Groundwork South

From their arrival at the Orchard Forest School site at Lupton House, Ryan, Amanda and company cannot hide their excitement or interest. 

They are here to help with practical tasks but also want to learn about the benefits that visiting families gain from spending time in the natural environment.

The group must already be aware of some of these benefits, or their fascination with nature and the great outdoors would not have led them to join a ‘Green Skills’ course run by Groundwork South over the last few months.

The training, part-funded by the European Union’s European Social Fund, has enabled Amanda, Ryan and 12 other unemployed or inactive Torbay residents to gain a qualification and experience in gardening that will help them on their journey into further education or employment.

This visit was organised as a celebration – everyone having passed – but true to form, the group’s way of celebrating is to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in with hands-on practical activities! 

Ask Amanda what the best thing about the course was and she quickly answers that it has been the camaraderie and support it has provided over these past few difficult months.

For Ryan, the boost to his confidence from being on the course is noticeable.

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What hasn’t changed though, is his love of the outdoors and desire to share it with others.

It has taken barely an hour before he has planned one return visit to Orchard Forest School with his young daughter, and another to Lupton to volunteer with the various conservation and land management tasks they run.

Thanks to the same funding, Groundwork South will be running ‘Introduction to Green Skills’ sessions in the New Year; - a no-cost course available to unemployed or inactive adults from Torbay.

It is good to know that over the five weeks of this further course even more people from the community will get to experience the many benefits that being outdoors can bring, just as Amanda, Ryan and company have.

To find out more or to register, please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email