Students put their skills to good use

College of West Anglia students doing a DIY SOS project at Orchards Primary School
College of West Anglia students doing a DIY SOS project at Orchards Primary School
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Construction students from the College of West Anglia, Isle campus have been busy putting their skills to use over the last few months helping a local primary school, as part of a DIY SOS challenge launched via the Citizen last year.

The project gave students the opportunity to use some practical construction skills whilst gaining valuable work experience and making a positive contribution to the community at Orchard Primary School.

Over 40 level 1 construction skills students braved unseasonal ‘arctic’ cold weather and manned tools and paint brushes on Tuesday, to brighten up the primary school’s playground with colourful fencing to make the children’s playtime just that little bit brighter. In addition, they also created a number of raised garden beds using railway sleepers for the younger members of the school to learn about vegetable and flower gardening encouraging sensory skills.

Practical construction skills is a full-time one-year course at the Isle campus for students aged 16-18. It offers vocational training in plastering, painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery, brickwork and plumbing, which can lead onto apprenticeships with employers or further training.

Alan Seeley, programme manager says: “This was an excellent opportunity to provide valuable experience of the painting and decorating trade and help out a local school in a very practical way. We are proud of the hard work and commitment of the students who participated – they did a great job.”

Other jobs completed earlier in the year for the school consisted of a group of 10 level 2 painting and decorating students spending a day painting a courtyard area of the school as well as painting some internal hallways.

The construction students are looking forward to starting other charity or community based projects in the coming months commencing after the Easter break.