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Carpentry students nail it for local charity

A twelve-strong team of carpentry and joinery students from Eastleigh College helped save a local charity £12,000 by spending two weeks utilising their skills to carry out essential maintenance and decorating.

The group of Level 2 students attended Meadway, Brendoncare’s residential care home in Winchester, to help renovate communal areas including decorating residents’ reception areas, stairs and landings.

The Brendoncare Foundation is a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people and runs ten care homes, as well as 90 friendship and wellbeing clubs throughout Hampshire and Dorset. Meadway provides residential care for 13 residents in St Cross, enabling older people to live independent, happy and fulfilling lives.

Brendoncare’s maintenance supervisor, Andy Oliver, said: “We’re lucky enough to regularly benefit from corporate volunteering but this is the first time we’ve had students in to use their skills while they are still training at college.

“We were very impressed. They did a fantastic job and were professional in their attitude. They carried out the work to a high standard, and it was a pleasure having them in the building. Several residents commented how nice it was to have them around, so much so we subsequently asked another team of students from Eastleigh College to carry out some work at another of our care homes.”

Eastleigh College’s carpentry lecturer, Andy Holmes, added: “The students gained a great deal from the experience. As well as contributing to our local community, they benefited from hands-on work experience which enabled them to put some of the things they’ve been learning in the college workshop to use in the real world.”

One of the students who gave up his time for Brendoncare was 18-year-old Derrian Moore who is studying carpentry at Eastleigh College. He said: “We really had to focus on time management as there was a lot of work to get through. We nominated team leaders on different days so we stayed on track.

“Carrying out the actual work was pretty straight forward, but there were things we had to think about that we don’t when we’re working in the College workshop. We had to consider the older people as we were in their home, and also really work as team which was good.”

Eastleigh College runs full-time and part-time courses and apprenticeships across a broad range of subjects from accountancy and engineering to dental nursing. The carpentry and joinery courses and apprenticeships teach learners the skills needed to work on construction sites, within maintenance teams or as specialist joiners.

Some students also stay on at Eastleigh College to study for a Higher National Certifcate in Construction which can provide a pathway to university or a managerial positions within the industry.