HRH The Duke of Gloucester meets Birmingham’s Budding Builders

Our Patron HRH The Duke of Gloucester, recently visited the Summerfield Community Centre in Winson Green to find out what a group of local young people have been doing to benefit their careers and the community.

The Duke was able to see young people working on the final stage of a practical construction skills course, supported by Willmott Dixon, who have donated £5000 to enable the young people to learn new skills and refurbish the community centre.

The participants have had support from Trust Trainer, Oscar Liburd and Regional Manager, Angela Miller in learning construction skills, mentoring support from Willmott Dixon representatives, and have been working together to study for the CSCS health and safety test, a requirement to work on most sites.

Richard Freeman, regional community engagement manager at Willmott Dixon said “Willmott Dixon is proud to be supporting Construction Youth Trust, this scheme has provided young people with the opportunity to learn and develop new skills – benefiting the entire community. HRH The Duke of Gloucester visiting the Summerfield Community Centre marks this, showing a dedication to investing in skills throughout Birmingham.”

The Duke spoke to the young people about what they have learnt on this live project and the legacy it will leave behind for the community. Our Chairman Andy Wates and Executive Director Christine Townley were able to show The Duke the work the project is carrying out including landscaping of the site, converting an old library into a meeting area, improving the existing kitchen and also fitting new flooring to the day room and kitchen area at the centre.

The Duke is a former architect and has a keen interest in young people being given the opportunity to find careers in construction. His awards scheme, The Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achievers Scheme is run by the Trust, and celebrates young professionals in the industry who have overcome barriers to enjoy success in their careers.

Christine Townley commented:

“The project at Summerfield Centre has been a real success, and I would like to thank Willmott Dixon for their support financially and physically throughout our time in Winson Green. I am delighted our Patron could come and speak with our young people who have worked so hard over the last few weeks and who now have bright futures in construction ahead of them.”

The course at the Summerfield Community Centre has already inspired the young people to think about their career paths. Trainee Simone Dillion, 29 who works part time in the Care sector has now enrolled at a local college to do her HNC in Construction. She is also being mentored by a member of Willmott Dixon HR Team and aspires to be a Trainee Project manager. As a single parent, she is inspired by her son and hopes to become a fantastic role model.

Simone commented:

“It was a good opportunity for The Duke to see that young people want to work.

The visit was good and gave us hope and purpose of what we can achieve with a little help. Construction Youth Trust should do more of this work, its good for the community.”