Make a house a home and add it to the CV
An innovative project has created a home as well as work experience for young people in Crawley.
A Crawley Borough Council owned house in Three Bridges was declared open on Wednesday (October 17) following a full refurbishment by three YMCA apprentices and professional mentors.
The Mayor of Crawley, Cllr Keith Blake, said the house, on Mill Road, would continue to benefit the community as it would home young people who approach the YMCA for shelter.
Connor Dearlove, 19, was one of the decorator apprentices who helped to redecorate the whole house, whilst getting one-on-one tuition from a professional mentor from the contractor MITIE.
The project provided a big learning curve for Connor as previously the only decorating experience he had was working as part of a ‘quick response team’ to get rented rooms up to standard ready for the next person to move in.
The Bewbush resident said he enjoyed working on the project for one and a half weeks.
He said: “I actually found decorating this house a bit easier than what I did before because I had longer to stay in it and look at what it was looking like.
“It’s a bigger project, we had to take down all the walls and everything before we got started so to see the return on it makes me more proud than I would have been just working on one room at a time.”
The ‘community business’ project aims to provide young people with the skills to attain careers which may have been impossible to attain without experience. This is the first of 30 empty properties in Sussex to be part of the project.
David Standing, Sussex Central YMCA chief executive, said: “We are committed to helping young people achieve their potential and move successfully to independence, having somewhere safe and affordable to live is an essential part of this.”
Cllr Richard Burrett, council cabinet member for housing, said: “This is a really special project which manages to support young people all the way through.
“It’s a great example of different organisations in the public and private sectors pulling together to make a difference to local people who need it most.”
Paul Woodham, regional manager for MITIE, thanked Buildbase for supplying all the materials for free and congratulated the apprentices.
“Their attitude and commitment must be noted and praised as they’ve all done a fantastic job,” said Mr Woodham. “Hopefully this is only the beginning of our partnership with the YMCA.”
Connor added: “I learnt a lot from working along side other traders.
“It think it has helped me to get on in my career and my life knowing what to expect in the real world.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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