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In the news: Parks apprentice Josh wins national award

Parks apprentice Joshua Earnshaw-Potts has picked up a national award in recognition of his brilliant work in our borough's outdoors.

Josh's award win was at the National Association for Special Educational Needs Awards in the Young Person Aged 17-25 category.

Josh, who has sensory processing difficulties and learning needs, was recognised for dedicating three years and over 600 hours to placements outdoors in Essex, including where he has worked to sustainably plant over 13,000 trees.

Josh became part of a trial group at Wat Tyler Country Park to see if community placements and outdoor learning were beneficial to learners with special educational needs. Over time, Joshua started to work independently with the team at Wat Tyler, before going on to obtaining a position at the council back in August on an apprenticeship in land management.

His day-to-day role includes planting a huge variety of trees, coppicing, upkeeping bird hides, and maintaining natural habitats.

Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing, Leisure, Arts & Culture, Councillor Jeff Henry, said : "Josh is a brilliant asset to the organisation and this award is deserved recognition for all his hard work both before and since joining the council.

"Josh works alongside a really supportive parks team each day and it's great that he's now having the opportunity to make a career out of something he has a genuine passion for."

ENDS

Published on Thursday 1 December 2022