Days after throwing his hat into the ring to become a borough MP, Boris Johnson is funding a project to turn an allotment space at Heathrow Airport into a public park.
The Mayor of London’s volunteering programme, Team London, is supporting the Green Corridor project, which will see 25 young people between the ages of 14 and 25 work on the site at Heathrow over the next year - many of whom are not in education, employment or training.
It is hoped the derelict allotment space will be transformed with wildlife and vegetation.
The youngsters involved will be taught a variety of horticultural skills and the work they do will go towards earning them a Level 1 Award in a Practical Horticultural or Conservation qualification.
Mr Johnson, who has yet to comment on his application to become the Conservative’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip at the next general election, said: “It is fantastic that increasing numbers of young people are willing to give their time to build stronger communities and improve the capital by volunteering at brilliant projects like this.
“The beauty of volunteering is that in giving time they also gain skills and experience that can be hugely beneficial to their future employment opportunities. I encourage as many young people as possible to visit the Team London website and get involved.”
23-year-old James volunteered with Green Corridor for six months on a different project.
He said: “I loved every second of it – I knew nothing about trees, plants and vegetables before I started but now I’m confident enough to offer to cut people’s grass or look after their gardens – it’s great. I even managed to get a qualification through the time I spent with them.
“I think its brilliant news that they can encourage other people like me to just get stuck in.”