Pupils volunteer to help revamp Emerald Park in Gorleston

Students from Lynn Grove and Great Yarmouth High taking part in the National Citizen Service, which

Students from Lynn Grove and Great Yarmouth High taking part in the National Citizen Service, which helps young people build skills for work and life. Over the last two weeks they have spent time re-painted and decorating Emerald Park the home ground of Gorleston Town FC. Megan Corby and Beadley Jinkerson painting a wall. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Paintbrushes and buckets at the ready, a group of hardworking young people have been getting their hands dirty to revamp the grounds of a football club.

Students from Lynn Grove and Great Yarmouth High taking part in the National Citizen Service, which

Students from Lynn Grove and Great Yarmouth High taking part in the National Citizen Service, which helps young people build skills for work and life. Over the last two weeks they have spent time re-painted and decorating Emerald Park the home ground of Gorleston Town FC.Eloise Leach and Frayer Pembroke rubbing down the dug out seats.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The 16 youngsters, aged between 15 and 17, are taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS), a government programme which aims to help them build skills and give back to the community.

And as part of the four-week experience, this group - which includes students from Lynn Grove Academy and Great Yarmouth High School - are lending a hand at Gorleston FC's home ground, Emerald Park.

Sam Gordon, from NCS, said this particular version of the programme had been based around sport.

'We've got a whole group of sporty young people here and we've just come back from two weeks of residential activities,' he said.


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The first two weeks of the programme saw the teenagers stay in Portsmouth for a week and then spend another week at the Easton campus of Easton and Otley College.

This initial fortnight gave the group time ot get to know each other, while taking part in sporting activities as well as gaining first aid qualifications.

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'That's the fun bit,' Sam said. 'The next two weeks it's time to give something back to the local community.'

‎Jackson Ramm is football engagement co-ordinator at Norwich City's Community Sports Foundation (CSF), who are faciliators for NCS.

He said: 'All different voluntary work goes on, and its about mixing with new people and learning new skills.'

He said the volunteers had been painting, cleaning the stands, giving changing rooms a deep clean and washing down advertising boards among other tasks.

Sam added: 'I'm really impressed with them, more than I thought I would be.'

Gorleston FC chairman Alan Gordon said they had been a great help.

On why he thought the NCS group had come to help them, he said: 'They see us as a community club, we do lots of charity work such as sports relief and the Ryan Harman matches. And [CSF] just saw a grassroots club where it can be hard with the running and upkeep. They saw we are a club giving back to the community and now we have them for the next two weeks.'

He added the team had been 'brilliant' and said they 'are doing really well'.

First team manager Ricci Butler said: 'They're doing important jobs which can fall to the wayside. I'd love to be able to come down here and paint and do it up, but there just isn't the time.'

One of the volunteers Aaron Robson, from Lowestoft said he would recommend the programme to anyone '200pc'.

The 17-year-old Lowestoft College student, who was giving the ground's outbuildings a fresh lick of paint, said: 'I'm loving it. I've made a lot of new friends and learnt life skills.'

At the end of the four-weeks the team will enjoy a graduation, along with a party for all their hard work.

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