Construction opportunities for young Ealing residents through People’s Millions Success

The Trust was delighted to win £50,000 back in November 2013 through ITV London and Big Lottery’s People’s Millions award to run a project in collaboration with homelessness charity Centrepoint.

We have since been putting the funding to good use running a course at a West London Centrepoint hostel, with young unemployed people earning new qualifications while working on a real site; and one student has already secured a carpentry apprenticeship.  

The Trust enlisted the help of its friends and supporters to dial the competition hotline to vote for the project to win the funding.  Centrepoint young people were featured in a film explaining how the funding would help them learn new skills but also refurbish parts of the hostel in desperate need of repair, which was aired on ITV London News.

A year later, a group of young people including local Ealing residents and Centrepoint hostel residents took part in the project in order to gain experience in construction.  The young people refurbished the Learning Room while learning new construction skills from Trust Trainer Wendy, and 9 of them achieved Level 1 Open College Network (OCN) accredited qualifications.

Construction firm Chas Berger is currently working on site refurbishing other rooms in the building and provided ongoing support to the young people throughout.  One young person on the project has now been offered a carpentry apprenticeship with Chas Berger and is due to start in this month.  Before the project Ryan was studying at college and left two months into the course after deciding it was not for him. He heard about the Trust’s course through Connexions, and signed up immediately.  Ryan excelled on the project and is really pleased with this new opportunity.  He commented:

“I’m over the moon that the course has led on to an apprenticeship.  Starting in January is a bit daunting but exciting as well. 

More people should do these courses, it is a good opportunity, not enough people take advantage of it.  A six week course - and look where I am now!”

Brian Bell from Chas Berger commented:

“In my opinion along with my Site Manager we felt Ryan stood out.  He was very polite, determined, committed, tidy in his work and dress sense and considered him to be of value to Chas Berger.”

The other students from the project will receive ongoing support from Trust staff in order to support them with further learning or provide support with interviews and work placements.  Chas Berger is continuing to refurbish the hostel around the work that the students carried out which should be ready in 2015.