Young people devote time to sprucing up Chorley Cemetery

Young people on the job hunt are spending just over a week cleaning and sprucing up a cemetery in Chorley where children and newborns are buried.

It is part of a scheme for 16-25 year olds who are not in education, employment or training.

Molly Finnamore, of Groundwork, the charity running the project, said: “I really feel this is such a beautiful project and has a lot of care and value about it.

“The young people are very passionate about ensuring the area looks amazing after we’re finished to make sure people can go and sit to pay respects.

“Given some of the young people who are on the team and the backgrounds they have, I believe this shows how determined they can be and can shed new light on the young people of Chorley, what they can achieve whilst on programme and what they can be proud of afterwards.”

The programme, which is funded by The Prince’s Trust, runs for 16 weeks and is split into different units.

The purpose of each unit is to provide the young people new skills, qualities and opportunities.

Some of the participants have difficulties dealing with schooling or work environments, mental health issues, criminal records or complicated family backgrounds.

Others have excelled academically but have low confidence in themselves, or trouble finding employment.

Eighteen-year-old Laura Valentine has enjoyed the chance to give back to the community.

She said: “I think by doing this project, it shows the community that young people can do something really nice and touching in an area where people go to grieve loved ones.

“I loved being able to use all the tools and seeing how we all worked together as part of a team.”

Saffron Cummings, who is also aged 18, said: “This project is a sensitive one that shows the difference we can make to help people go to an area where they are visiting family or friends that have passed.

“My favourite part of the project was improving the path, we removed the stones and raked it all up.

“When it’s summer it will be a lovely area to walk down.”

James Makinson, 18, relished the challenge of the physical nature of the task. He said: “I believe this project makes difference because of the visitors coming, so we wanted to make it look much nicer.

“I really enjoyed getting stuck in and working hard.

“I wanted to make sure we did the best we could.”

The Prince’s Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and training.