Apprentices roll up their sleeves to help village hall once again
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE village hall has been spruced up thanks to a scheme that helps young apprentices get valuable experience.
Work to expand the kitchen and improve disabled access at Stainton Village Hall had only just been completed when tradesmen and students from Trades4Care arrived last week to finish the decorating.
Outside windows and railings as well as interior panelling, woodwork and storage areas received a much-needed lick of paint through the scheme.
The project works by providing practical skills and experience to painting and decorating students from Bishop Auckland College who work side-by-side with qualified tradesman. Communities also benefit because the work is carried out at public facilities, such as village halls, as well as care homes.
Trades4Care organiser Charlie Wright said the work at Stainton Village Hall had gone really well and students Cameron Southworth, Alex Pickering and Luke Muir were keen to learn.
He added: “They could have had six weeks’ holiday but they want to come in because they buy into it [the scheme].
“They can see they are doing good with the things they have learned.
“They can showcase the skills they have learned by supporting their community.”
Mr Wright said students are initially sent on a two-day induction course where they learn life skills, such as dealing with potential clients.
Student Cameron Southworth has worked on a number of projects with Trades4Care including the recent remodelling of Auckland Youth Centre as well as a school in Heighington.
She said: “With Covid our tutors have been spread a bit thinly so we haven’t been getting as much practical work – you learn much more on the job than you do in the classroom.”
Trades4Care received high praise for its work at Auckland Youth centre where the students were visited by MP Dehenna Davison and Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon.
It is the second time that Stainton Village Hall members have called on Trades4Care to carry out work.
Tradesman Nigel Stevens now plans to “employ” the students to do wallpapering at his own home, giving them experience in a different field.
He said: “They will have to do a risk assessment and an assessment of what the job needs. They will also have to price the job – these are all skills they need if they want to be self-employed.
“Then they will actually have to do the work. It will all be part of their qualification.”
Village hall members were impressed with the work.
Jane Teasdale, from the committee, said: “When they came here before they did an amazing job and here they have again. It is very much appreciated.”