Employment solutions and training specialists GR8 has teamed up with The National Trust for Jersey to support its campaign to restore and plant hedgerows while providing employment for hospitality staff while the sector is shut.
GR8 has employed five people who are not working due to the Covid-19 restrictions for a short-term project to plant hedgerow corridors. The project started in October 2019 when The National Trust partnered with The Jersey Royal Company to plant 10 miles of hedgerows across the Island.
Now in its second year and a further 10 miles well underway, the Trust is utilising public donations to deliver even more hedgerows. However, with agricultural workers now focusing on potato planting, GR8 has stepped in to help the project reach its goal by recruiting staff who are not working because of the pandemic.
Lee Madden, Managing Director of GR8, said: “We are big believers in giving back to the community, we wanted to help improve biodiversity and provide employment for people in a sector that has been devastated by the pandemic. We have a strong partnership with the Jersey Hospitality Association, working with them since the start of the crisis to find jobs for staff who cannot work due to Covid-19 restrictions. We saw this short-term project as an ideal way to support hospitality while it is shut down and to contribute to the Island’s goal to tackle climate change”.
The team of five is working with Project Co-Ordinator, Conrad Evans, to plant 4,500 whip sized plants measuring 40-60 cm, including some trees. The focus area is between Victoria Village through Maufant to Queen’s Valley to the north and La Hougue Bie to the south. This will provide habitat and help to support and protect many species of wildlife.
Charles Alluto, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Jersey, said: “During the last twelve months we have been absolutely delighted by the growing public support for this project including many generous donations. However, having had to pause the project because the agricultural industry needed all available staff, we were absolutely delighted to receive support from GR8 and the hospitality industry, to help us plant more hedgerows well in excess of our original goal. As a charity, we rely heavily on the generosity of our members and benefactors and this help from GR8 will also go a long way towards securing the success of this project”.
Simon Soar, Chief Executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association, added: “It has been a difficult year for many businesses, but with the support of Lee and his team at GR8, we have been able to find alternative work for staff that have been furloughed. It is really important that we retain as many of our skilled employees who have for years provided exceptional service to visitors and Islanders. I’m really pleased that we have been able to work together on this and a number of other initiatives to ensure we retain our people, so they are ready once we open our doors once again”.