Launched in September 2019, The Benjamin Foundation ‘Future Builders’ project, in partnership with End Youth Homelessness, Nova Training, Victory Housing, Gasway, RTB Roofing and Building Ltd and funded by The Ovo Foundation, is providing young people, some of whom have been vulnerably housed or affected by homelessness, with the opportunity to learn construction skills in two homes in North Walsham, while giving them the training they need to gain an apprenticeship or full time work.

Now, several months later, the Future Builders project is making great progress and is already providing local young people new skills and experiences. These include practical skills and working in a group with other young people, as well as learning from staff and contractors who are also supporting the Future Builders project.

Liam, aged 18, has been spending two days a week on the site of the renovation since November 2019 after learning about Future Builders through Nova Training.

“It’s good to learn on the site itself and not just in a classroom.” Liam explains.

“The first thing I did when I arrived was to dig a trench in the back garden ready for power cables for the external supply.”

The first of the two three-bedroom homes is well on the way to completion with the old fixtures and fittings cleared and new windows, staircase and plastering completed. Liam is now trying his hand at painting the walls in the lounge, supported by Rob Bray, The Benjamin Foundation’s Progression and Support Worker.

Liam continues: “As well as painting, I’ve helped to remove the old vents, levelled off the garden and helped to lay the patio. I even had the opportunity to help to decorate the office at Winston Court. [The Benjamin Foundation’s accommodation centre in North Walsham] My favourite thing so far was digging the trench but decorating the office was really rewarding.”

Rob has been really pleased with Liam’s progress so far and how he has embraced the Future Builders project:

“Liam is really easy-going and gets on with everyone. He has progressed really well and now he’s able to just get on with tasks. He also ensures that the rooms are ready for the young people who are on site the following day. He has completed a Health and Safety course and will be attending a First Aid in the Workplace course in the near future.”

Rob continues: “I feel really proud when I see young people like Liam progress. It’s great to be beginning to see the results of Future Builders.”

Liam adds: “I will be really proud when it’s finished. I hope that my experience with Future Builders will enable me to go on to get a job or apprenticeship in the future.”

For young people in education, employment or apprenticeships, once the work is complete there is an opportunity to live in the property itself with rent which is affordable. Please contact us on 07976 851202 for more information. For more information about Future Builders, please visit: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/service/future-builders/

Our visits to Rose Meadow Care Home mix the generations and it really works. Everybody looks forward to it and it builds links within our community.

Town Tots and Kidzone staff member

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