Thomas Homes ran a free bricklaying/plastering workshop for 12 young people from the Oakfield Project on Friday 15 November at their Heritage Plaza development in Swindon’s Old Railway Quarter.
Oakfield pupils – picutred by Richard Wintle of Calyx – donned their safety shoes and got down and mucky to try their hand at bricklaying, plastering, talk to the workers on the site and even ask them what they earn!
The Oakfield Project run an alternative to mainstream School where the pupils can still obtain qualifications without the daily obstacles that make school life difficult. It is a place where your voice counts.
They have a Student Voice committee lead by a chairperson using students as active partners in their learning curriculum so that it becomes a truly personal experience. It is highly thought of in Swindon as an extremely successful project.
Paul Wainwright, Senior Youth Worker/DeputyManager of Oakfield, said “We were delighted to take up Create’s offer of the workshops on Friday and our pupils really enjoyed it. It was an excellent opportunity to see first-hand the trade working on a large building site.
"In preparation for the world of work and successful transition from Oakfield, our policy is for all students to gain vocational skills in house and at college on pre 16 courses, working with local employers.”
Thomas Homes are known for their sensitive, high quality developments across the South of England and they are committed to helping the local community in all the towns where they build.
They have run other similar community workshops in other towns but this was their first one in Swindon.
Their Heritage Plaza development is on the site of the former Great Western Railway works and is fast becoming one of Swindon’s most desirable locations alongside impressive neighbours such as Steam, English Heritage National Monuments Heritage Centre, the National Trust HQ and the Designer Outlet Centre.
Create Studios met Chris of Thomas Homes when they were filming for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Project and when he saw Create’s community involvement they kept in touch and Chris is now involved with Create and a valued member of their Steering Group.
Arts & Business recognised Thomas Homes as a Business Cultural Champion in the South West because of their outstanding contribution to the arts through their support of Create Studios.
Chris Brotherton said “Thomas Homes are committed to helping the local community in any of the towns we are building and we are pleased to be able to offer Oakfield this opportunity to explore first-hand what it would be like to work in the building trade.”
Create Studios is an award-winning digital media organisation in Swindon offering opportunities for young people, nurturing new talent and creating short films, animations, apps and websites for a range of partners.