Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Collingwood trainees take the plunge

24 October 2017
A group of trainees from HMS Collingwood in Fareham recently braved overgrown shrubbery, spiders and leaky waders to help a local school renovate its gardens.

Lee-on-the-Solent Infants School boasts beautiful grounds, complete with woodland and a nature pond but the upkeep had proved challenging for the staff.

The situation was not helped when the school was targeted by vandals who left broken glass around an area used by the children as an outdoor classroom and threw a picnic table into the nature pond, home to a thriving population of frogs and newts.

The trainees got stuck in straight away, splitting into small groups to be able to target more of the grounds with some braving huge spiders to trim back undergrowth, revealing areas previously inaccessible for the pupils.

We really like doing this because it’s great to be able to make a difference. It’s what we’re here for.

ET (WE) Daniel Hart

In one section, an overgrown grapevine had pushed over a fence which forced staff to close the area. The group, all on a Weapons Engineering Course, removed the fence safely, hacked the grapevine back and cleared the area ready for the children to create a sensory garden.

Three sailors set to work to remove the bench from the pond and clear the surface of weed that was adversely impacting the wildlife within.

ET (WE) (Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer)) Daniel Hart commented, “We really like doing this because it’s great to be able to make a difference. It’s what we’re here for.

“Although it’s good being in the classroom, it’s nice to be able to spend our free time outside.

“The vandalism the school suffered here is wrong but at least when we’ve removed the bench from the pond, it can be sanded down, re-painted and the kids can use it again.”

Site manager Steve Searle praised the trainees’ efforts saying, “It’s fantastic to see everyone helping right across the site.

“Since I joined the school in January, I’ve made a long list of the jobs I wanted to do but it’s difficult even with support from staff and parents.

“This visit will make a huge difference, it takes me a week to fill a skip and these lads have done it in an hour!”

The trainees will now head back to their classroom at HMS Collingwood to continue their Weapons Engineering Training, specialising in Technical Warfare Support.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.