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Eden’s apples help to inspire as part of powerful youth initiative

Eden Project apples have been harvested, pressed, cooked and served to visitors as part of a programme aimed at supporting young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

(From left) Kyle White and William Kenyon present harvested apples to Eden Head Chef, Mike Greer

(From left) Kyle White and William Kenyon present harvested apples to Eden Head Chef, Mike Greer.jpg

Eden Apple Academy PR

The programme, known as the Apple Academy, saw a small group of young people harvest an impressive haul of apples from Eden’s own orchard.

Included in the eclectic mix of local varieties harvested were Duke of Cornwall, Improved Keswick, Tregonna King, Pig’s Nose, Snell’s Glass, Pear and Golden Noble apples.

The participants then took part in a day-long demonstration of apple pressing which saw them actively engage with visitors to Eden. The juice was offered to customers observing the process to sample.

The harvested apples were then presented to Eden’s Head Chef Mike Greer, who worked with the group to prepare apple crumble and chutney at the attraction’s production kitchen.

Finally, the participants were able to see the fruits of the labour first-hand as their prepared food was served to Eden Project visitors.

The participants are enrolled on the COMPASS project, a wide-reaching partnership led by Cornwall Council, managed by CSW Group and part-funded by the European Social Fund. It aims to support 1,800 young people aged 15-24 to find their direction into education, employment or training throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Statistics released by the ONS earlier this year showed that the amount of people aged between 16 and 24 who are not in employment, education or training was up to 11.5% in the final quarter of 2022 and saw the biggest rise in this number in a decade, highlighting the crucial importance of initiatives such as these.

Eden has been a project delivery partner since 2017, working in partnership with the Real Ideas Organization, to support over 150 NEET young people living in Cornwall.

Mike Greer, Eden’s Head Chef, said: “The Apple Academy is just one example of the work going on at Eden, as we continue to help build relationships between people and aid them in gaining a wider understanding and connection to the natural world.

“Food is such a powerful medium to demonstrate what can be achieved when we come together and provides a tangible example of what can be accomplished individually and as a team. It has been great working alongside the group this week and to see their personalities shine through.”

David Aynsley, who is COMPASS Project Officer at Eden, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with this cohort of young people. The aim of these projects is to walk alongside the participants, give them a safe space to calm down their anxieties and support them on their journey.

“Groups such as these demonstrate a huge, untapped workforce of highly talented people, who just need a little help and guidance to help them fulfill their potential.

“I hope the group felt inspired by the Apple Academy programme and it has been a useful stepping stone on their professional journeys. I’m sure Eden visitors have been enjoying the delicious apple crumble too!”

Note to editors:

“COMPASS is part-funded by the European Social Fund.”

European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit

COMPASS was successful in accessing the last tranche of ESF funding under Investment Priority 1.2: Sustainable Integration of Young People into the Labour Market. The partnership covers the whole of the region, with face-to-face and digital accessibility, and will be based in the community and in fixed centres.

COMPASS partners are Cornwall Council, CSW Group Ltd, Carefree, CHAOS Group Cornwall CIC, Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, Cornwall Training Ltd, Cornwall Education Business Partnership, Groundwork South, Motiv-8 SW Ltd, Real Ideas Organisation CIC, Urban Biodiversity, V Learning Net, Whitehead Ross

COMPASS delivery partnership offers access to work taster sessions, employability skills, money matters and debt management, basic skills (English, maths and English as a second language) and City & Guilds qualifications. Young people will also get to meet employers and find out about the labour market and growing job sectors in Cornwall. It is not just employability skills on offer, but entrepreneurship too. Those accessing the course and interested in their own business can get specific support & signposting to take the first steps towards their own business.


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