Cirencester College Upgrade students improve local hospital grounds

A number of students on Cirencester College’s Upgrade programme have been busy working on cultivating the green space at Cirencester Hospital.

During their weekly visits, the students have been helping to maintain and improve the outdoor areas in the hospital grounds for the benefit of local residents, hospital staff and patients. Cirencester Hospital has the largest NHS grounds in Gloucestershire, and is a valuable resource for the wider community of Gloucestershire with a wide range of gardens and animal habitats.

Heather Ormerod, Job Coach at Cirencester College said: “I am delighted that our learners have had this opportunity to develop essential employability skills and gain an understanding of workplace expectations, whilst making a difference to their local community. Each week we are given an area to improve, and our tasks have ranged from clearing the edging around the car parks, to collecting fallen apples, to helping improve accessibility of the walkways. Taking part in community focused activities enhances CVs and helps build skills such as team working, communication, adaptability and resilience.”

The Upgrade programme at Cirencester College is designed for young people who need to upgrade their GCSE grades to be able to access a full Level 2 programme or an apprenticeship. It also helps to prepare students for independence in learning, life and employment, giving them the understanding and confidence they will need to succeed. To find out more about this course, visit

The Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has three hospital sites maintained entirely by volunteers. Those in charge of the grounds at Cirencester have partnered with a range of organisations over the years, and welcome a wide range of volunteers of all abilities. NHS volunteering is allowed to continue under current lockdown rules and every precaution is taken to keep staff, patients and volunteers as safe as possible. If you are interested in helping in the hospital grounds, please contact Richard Hobbs, Volunteer Coordinator on or 0300 421 8363.