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.

Kurtis, age 17, has been involved with Future Builders since September 2019 after learning about the project through Nova Training. Not afraid of hard work, he has impressed those on site with his work ethic ‘getting things done,’ powering through the tasks he has been given with enthusiasm and dedication to the project.

“I see Future Builders as an opportunity.” Kurtis explains.

“I haven’t done anything like this before but I’ve been getting stuck into lots of work, including stripping out the two houses, clearing the gardens, digging a trench for cabling, and painting. My favourite thing is working with Rob [Progression and Support Worker] from The Benjamin Foundation.”

Kurtis usually spends one day a week on site while he attends college the rest of the week. Thanks to the hard work of him and other young people on the Future Builders project, the first of the two house renovations is starting to take shape.

Kurtis continues: “The house was really run down at first. There’s still lots of work to be done but it’s getting there. I’m really hands on – I just want to get jobs done.”

Cheryl Allright, Learning Support Assistant from Nova Training, also attends the Future Builders site one day a week to support young people as they gain valuable skills and experience.

“I like the fact that Nova Training has linked up with The Benjamin Foundation to give young people opportunities to put skills into practice. It’s a different environment to a classroom and it’s great to see the progress and the transformation.”

Cheryl continues: “I highly recommend Future Builders to put learning into practice. It’s great that young people have the opportunity to see how a site works, working alongside other companies and contractors. It’s a great taste of the real world.”

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/

It's a way for them to feel listened to when in other settings they may not be, through no fault of their own. We empower our young people and as a result we create stronger individuals.

The Benjamin Foundation Youth Support Worker

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