MOUNTBATTEN School students play their part at Royal Victoria Country Park

On Wednesday November 10, fourteen Year 9 students from The Mountbatten School, Romsey, spent the day volunteering at Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, as part of the Yes Futures charity’s Rising Futures programme.

Yes Futures is a multi-award winning education charity. The charity specialises in running personal development programmes in Hampshire and the South East, to help students to realise their potential and develop the life skills needed to succeed in further education, training and employment.

A key part of the Rising Futures programme is the Play Your Part day, where students volunteer with a local community project. Throughout the day, students realise the benefits of giving back to their community, and develop key teamwork, communication and vocational skills outside of the school environment.

Before setting off for the park, the students set themselves a goal for the day, based on the four Yes Futures’ Talents, confidence, communication, resilience and self-awareness. Many of the students set themselves a goal of improving their communication or resilience for example, by talking to new people, or not giving up even if the activities were challenging.

When they arrived at the park, students were split into three teams with students who they wouldn’t normally work with, to give them the opportunity to develop their communication skills. In their small groups, they were tasked with cutting down and clearing away hedgerow that was surrounding one of the stately homes within the park. Students cut down the large branches into manageable sizes using bow saws and loppers, which would later be burned on a fire.

The students completely surpassed expectations of how much they could cut back and clear in just a few hours. Students also worked hard to support one another, with some students asking the park’s volunteer team if they wanted help with their work.

At the end of the day, students reflected on what they’d learned from the day and whether they’d succeeded in meeting their goal. They all reflected well and recognised the importance of communication and teamwork, as well as the important role that they could play in their community.

Hannah Wilkinson-Tough, Yes Futures’ programme manager, said “On numerous occasions the students demonstrated our four Yes Futures Talents in abundance. We were particularly impressed with the students’ communication skills and teamwork in their smaller groups, with so many of them showing fantastic resilience in keeping their energy high throughout the whole day!”

To find out more about Yes Futures and their programmes, visit or follow the charity on social media on @yesfutures.

Sent in by Sophie Brown