Brickwork students at Swindon College volunteered their time and skills recently to help a local charity relocate to larger premises, enabling them to offer treatment to more local people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Swindon and the surrounding area.
The Swindon Therapy Centre contacted the Construction Department at Swindon College at the end of October 2009 as they were planning their move from their former premises at Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, Swindon and were looking for help from local organisations who might be willing to lend a hand.
The charity needed to organise the removal of the existing decompression chamber, which is used to alleviate some of the symptoms of MS, and return the building interior to its original condition before handing it back to the landlords. As the centre is solely funded by donations from businesses, individuals and fund raising the Brickwork team at Swindon College were only too pleased to be able to help.
Lecturer Steve Southern said, ‘The students calculated the cost of the work involved using current construction rates and found that by recycling most of the materials on site and with their volunteer labour, the centre would save £800. With donations of other materials, less than £20 was eventually spent restoring the entire site.
‘The project took seven days for us to complete working part time and we finished work on 22 February 2010 It was great for the students to gain extra experience working on a real site under supervision while supporting a community project.’
The existing six-person tank was removed and donated to another branch of the charity in Hereford and a new 12 person tank was installed at the charity’s new centre in Bradbury House, Westmead Drive, which opened for treatment on 25 January 2010.
Swindon Therapy Centre Manager Jackie Wray commented: ‘We are delighted with the way the Swindon College team handled the project. We were so impressed with the students, who were polite and really interested in the needs of the centre from start to finish.’