Staff and students from Heart of Worcestershire College rolled up their sleeves, grabbed their toolkits and got down to work as they answered a call to volunteer from BBC One series ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’.
In December last year, construction students from across the College, along with their tutors, headed down to the site in Bidford on Avon to lend a helping hand to Nick Knowles and his team.
Getting stuck in straight away Brickwork apprentices, Aidan Woodbine and Dalton Griffiths along with tutor Rob Smith, began helping to construct the main brickwork elevation to the rear of the property before moving on to make alterations to the existing building both internally and externally including creating a feature fireplace wall.
Once structural work had been completed the College’s team of plasterers, including level 2 apprentice Ryan Wilson and full-time level 2 student Reece Roberts and tutors Tony Wheeler and Mike Webber, began helping with work in the bedrooms and bathroom preparing the walls and ceilings for decorators.
Shortly after, the decorators’ level 2 students Jade Pritchard and Tayshan Hickey proceeded to prepare all of the surfaces before applying paint to walls and ceilings under the watch eyeful and design direction of Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen. Not ones to shy away from helping out further, the team also assisted other tradespeople on-site lending a hand to those unloading and moving materials.
Speaking about the experience Dalton Griffiths, said:
“It was a great experience to be involved in and to be a part of something that would benefit and change someone else’s life for the better. It was totally different to my normal job as the pressure to get things done was immense. I do feel that the project helped with my confidence and how I might approach tasks in the future”.
Fellow student Jade Pritchard added:
“Working on DIY SOS not only gave me invaluable insight into the active world of construction, but also a sense of achievement and pride. I worked alongside multiple trades and with many skilled people picking up hints, tips and experiences that have improved my work as well as both my professionalism and future employability. DIY SOS is an opportunity to make contacts within my trade, learn masses and give back to society”.
Rob Smith, Curriculum, Resources & Quality Leader for construction commented:
“It was a fabulous experience for everyone to be involved in. It gave the students a fabulous opportunity of real work experience allowing them to put their knowledge and skills to the test. The project allowed learners to feel what it is really like to work under extreme pressure and to be able to work to tight deadlines. For myself it reminded me of some of my best days on site with the camaraderie, team work and of course the banter! I would recommend it to anyone”.
The team returned to the site on the ‘reveal’ day where they celebrated with other workers and the family involved.
DIY SOS: The Big Build featuring HoW College is set to air later this year.
For more information about our construction courses please visit howcollege.ac.uk