A group of unemployed young people have been grafting hard to rejuvenate a community building in Haverhill as part of a 12-week programme that aims to get them back into work, training or education.
The 15-strong group of 16 to 23-year-olds, all from Haverhill or nearby, have spent five days a week over a one month period revamping Bevan House, in Camps Road.
They are supported by Haverhill Town Council, which owns Bevan House, and the work comprises the community project section of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, which is being delivered by the charity Inspire Suffolk.
Steve Holmes, an assistant team leader with Princes Trust is working with the group on the project.
He said: “We have redecorated all the interior and put down wooden flooring in the main classroom.
“The guys are looking at putting down some wooden flooring in the hallway.
“It is just rejuvenating the whole of the inside and outside.
“For me I just think there’s a real wow factor to it and they can see the fruits of their labours.”
The aim of the programme is for the students to take on a different projects that will help them gain more skills and lead to employment, a training course or full-time education.
The group go away on a residential placement together to help them develop better team building skills, they also undertake a community project - Bevan House - and complete a two-week work placement.
CV writing and interview techniques are also skills that are developed during the course, as is the community involvement buy way of going out and meeting different sections of the community.
Bevan House is just one aspect of the programme, which ultimately leads to enrolment in college on an NVQ qualification and a presentation night at which their completion of the course will be recognised.
The benefits of the programme were emphasised by Steve, who said: “We have just been trying to make it so they can have some kind of forward path and something to aim for.
“When I’ve asked them if you had not started this course what would you have been doing for these three months none of them have said they would be doing anything.”