Students from County Durham have given Bishopton and Heighington Primary Schools a makeover as part of practical training during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The training and work experience has been provided by Trades4Care, a community interest company which aims to support young people and the community in Bishop Auckland and the surrounding areas.
The project provides maintenance and decorating services to the health, social care and education sectors as well as community projects, charities and trusts. A home service is also provided for vulnerable and elderly people.
In addition to practical skills learnt during work placements students receive coaching and mentoring. Supervision is provided by suitably qualified and vetted tradespeople.
“The main support is for the young people,” says Andrew Coxon, one of the co-founders of the Trades4Care project.
“They receive a twelve day programme and it’s very much based around confidence sessions, resilience sessions, personal and social development – but then tied in to a five day work project with hand-picked supervision. The work projects generally involve painting and decorating, general maintenance and fairly low-key maintenance projects that are generally held in buildings that are adding value to the community.”
Students recently completed work at Scarth Hall in Staindrop where an extension built in the 1920’s is dedicated to the memory of the Staindrop men who died in the First World War.
Andrew says some of the students hadn’t been to Staindrop before and didn’t know the history of the building.
“We explained that there had been a number of youngsters that unfortunately lost their lives in the first world war at the same age as the youngsters we were working with. And also things like the paintings on the wall that were painted by war artists and we went into some detail about what a war artist did.”
Some of the students have gone on to paid employment with local tradespeople the project works with.
More information about the project can be found on the Trades4Care website or by contacting Andrew Coxon (07725 113352) or Charlie Wright (07905 027074).