Shrewsbury Colleges Group’s Level 1 Painting and Decorating students have been unexpectedly rewarded with new tool kits after a member of the public read a newspaper article about the students volunteering their skills to assist a local charity.
In December 2021, the class helped to decorate and refurbish a derelict pub which has become the new premises for Shrewsbury Ark, a charity that runs a drop-in centre to support homeless people and other vulnerable adults.
The member of the public was so impressed by the students’ hard work that she gifted the class with a generous donation of money, which she hoped would contribute to further developing the skills they had used to help the charity.
The Painting and Decorating department decided that the best use of the money would be to buy every student on the Level 1 course their own starter kit, which they could keep even after they have finished their studies at SCG. The college’s Curriculum Director for Construction, Stuart Raine, matched the donation money to celebrate the students' achievements and to expand the list of tools included in their kits.
Staff from Crown Paints’ Shrewsbury branch were very kind in helping the students to get the most out of the money awarded to them, supplying each of the students with a roller set, paint kettle and paintbrush.
Emma Hooper, 16, one of the students to receive a new kit, explained how important the whole experience has been for her progression towards her chosen career, saying: “Work experience at Shrewsbury Ark has helped me learn how to work professionally and understand the expectations of an employer. My plan is to finish college, work for a painting and decorating company, and then eventually start my own business.”
She continued: “Crown Paints has helped a lot by giving us equipment that we can keep and use in the future. Thanks to the generous donation, I can start my own kit, which is an important step in becoming a painter and decorator.”
Jose Jarrett, Painting and Decorating teacher, said: “I was very pleased with the work the students produced. They are now hoping to develop more skills by finding work experience or progressing to an apprenticeship. The students have benefited from this experience by putting into practice their practical and employability skills while gaining valuable site experience. This opportunity has highlighted the importance of industry placements, which is something we are keen to develop by building further links with employers to fill the skill gaps that the industry is currently facing.”