08 January 2019

Construction placement participants give back to local community

Ten people who successfully completed a construction based back-to-work programme in Helston have celebrated with the regeneration of an allotment area for a local school.

The Coastline Construct participants completed a programme of college-based training and live site tuition and experience at Coastline Housing’s Nansloe site in Helston where Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, are building 75 homes for the social landlord.

One of the practical elements of the course this time involved regenerating the allotment space at Nansloe Academy, digging in allotment beds, building and installing raised beds and benches, paving the area for wheelchair access to the plots and assembling and painting a shed.

Nansloe’s reception class pupils also got involved in the process by taking part in a colouring competition for Coastline, showing which fruit and vegetables they would like to grow in the new area. A pupil in Year 4 said: ‘It's going to be really exciting choosing what to grow first.’

Heather Foster from Nansloe School, said: “The teams involved from Coastline and Mi-Space have been superb community partners. They were so receptive to the children’s ideas and have worked incredibly hard to bring these to fruition and rejuvenate our gardening area. The new facilities are fantastic and mean that every child will be able to easily access and enjoy the new space, and that we will be able to grow and harvest vegetables all year round.”

Bee Rowley, from Coastline Housing, said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who’s been a part of this project. Work Skills Training Academy for supporting the students to get their CSCS cards and learn trade skills throughout the course, Who Dares Works, Positive People, REED’s Work Routes scheme and the Job Centre. All these organisations were key so we’d like to thank them all for their support too.”

The participants celebrated the end of their 10-week learning programme by proudly opening the new school allotment area alongside pupils from Nansloe Academy. A number of those involved in the project have secured employment either with Mi-space or at other sites, or achieved their goal of being accepted on to an apprenticeship. One participant said: ‘I’m very grateful for Coastline Construct. It’s a good route back into work. It was brilliant!"

David Pengelly, Operations Manager for Mi-space, said: “This has been a fantastic project and one which we have been very proud to be involved with. Not only has Coastline Construct supported local people in gaining experience and confidence, it has also provided the practical support, skills and qualifications to give them a route into employment in the construction industry.

“This means positive long-term benefits for those involved in the scheme, as well as the communities they live in, and at Mi-space we are particularly pleased to have been able to recruit a number of participants into our own team here at Nansloe and just as pleasing is that our supply chain are also providing employment opportunities which helps in filling skills gaps in the industry.”

Steve Maunder, from Work Skills Training Academy (part of the Cornwall College Group), added: “The recognised construction skills shortage and the planned developments within the South West will provide much needed employment opportunities. We are very happy to be part of the Coastline Construct model.”

Coastline Construct is a back to work programme for the construction industry open to Coastline customers and members of the wider community who are aged 19 and above and currently unemployed. The enrolment event for the next set of candidates will take place on Tuesday 29th January 2019 at the learning space on the Nansloe site in Helston. Anyone who is interested is asked to contact the Community Investment Team at Coastline Housing at: backtowork@coastlinehousing.co.uk or 01209 200 200. The team look forward to speaking to you and booking you a place at the enrolment event.

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