Prince’s Trust volunteers help complete first stage of new orchard at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey

Work on the first stage of a new orchard has been completed at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey, thanks to the hard work of some local Prince's Trust volunteers and the school's pupils.

The Victory Orchard has been planted with a variety of traditional East Anglian fruit trees, mainly of Norfolk origin, including Costessey's own varieties; New Costessey Seedling and Herbert Eastoe.

The theme for the orchard is a sundial, with trees planted in the hourly positions and was funded by a grant from Fruit-full Schools.

Like the Victory Organic Allotment, it will be an organic wildlife-friendly environment and includes a wildlife pond, native hedgerow and a small meadow area.

Fruit-full Schools coordinator, Helen Banks, and Royal Horticultural Society education officer, Alison Findlay, worked with Victory's environmental coordinator Mrs Pauline Williamson on marking out the site.

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There were then 17 Prince's Trust volunteers who worked with the school to create the orchard, and Victory students assisted with planting the trees.

The Prince's Trust volunteers came from a 12-week course being held at North Earlham Fire Station, on Ivy Road, which is held to teach new skills to 16 to 25-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.

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Iyeshia Gamble, 21, who lives in central Norwich, is one of the volunteers who organised the project. She said: 'As part of our course we do a community project and something in our local area. So people get in contact with our team leaders and we came to a decision on which project we want to do.

'We got a brief and then Monday to Thursday, between 9am and 4pm, we have been working on the project, learning new skills like brick laying, putting in an archway and some beehives.

'It's been a lot of hard work but good fun as well.'

Is your school planning an event? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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