Coastline Construct project celebrates a milestone in Helston
There were celebrations in Helston when past and present participants of the Coastline Construct programme came together to mark the end of this phase of the project.
Coastline Construct is a programme run by Coastline Housing in partnership with a number of local agencies to offer local people a chance to obtain their CSCS card, have training in trade skills and gain real life work experience on a construction site.
The back-to-work programme was designed to help unemployed people discover, or rediscover, skills that would help them gain employment in the construction industry. Since the programme started in 2018, 46 participants have taken part. Many these have since gone on to secure employment or further training.
Over the past 9 months, participants have been working on different phases of the housing charity’s Nansloe development in Helston. This development has seen Mi-space build 75 homes for Coastline Housing.
Bee Rowley, from Coastline Housing, said: “Now that the Nansloe development is nearing completion we wanted to take the time to reflect and celebrate the impact Coastline Construct has had on the lives of local individuals and the community nearby.”
Participants were joined at the celebration event by a number of children from Nansloe Academy. During the build, Coastline and Mi-space worked closely with the Academy to transform a patch of grass into an inclusive and accessible allotment space for the children to grow their own vegetables. The children then raised some funds for the plants, which local company Trevena Cross Nurseries at Breage generously matched. As a thank you for their involvement, the children were presented with a nifty pencil and rubber, disguised as a screwdriver.
David Pengelly, Operations Manager for Mi-space, said: “Our site team have really enjoyed helping local people make a change and gain work experience and training within the construction industry as part of this project. This has been a vital tool to support people into employment, as well as to show how rewarding a job in construction can be.”
Sue Bartlett, from Active Plus, added: “We need more local employers to see this and to follow suit. Being able to work with Mi-Space on a ‘live’ building site has given those involved the benefit of experiencing ‘real-life’ working situations and enhanced their knowledge and skills in the building trade, as well as the social and communication skills necessary to work within a team. For those participants who have gained paid work through the programme, their lives have been transformed in a number of weeks. I look forward to working on the next programme!”
Coastline worked with a number of local agencies during this project including Work Skills Training Academy who provided exceptional training, and Who Dares Works and Active Plus who provided support for participants. Job Centre Plus and REED’s Work Routes programme were also key referral partners.
Sean Wood from Who Dares Works sad: “This partnership has provided our participants with a unique opportunity to gain training and employment opportunities within the construction industry. For some it has been nothing short of life changing and the benefits have also been shared with the wider community. Jobs have been created, affordable homes built and community projects developed. This is partnership working at its very best.”
Coastline Housing is planning to run a future Coastline Construct scheme in a different area of Cornwall next time around. Details will be released on the Company’s Facebook page and website when applications open.
Shane Avent found the Coastline Construct programme at a point in his life when he was going through a difficult time personally and has since gone on to complete his CSCS card and gain employment with Mi-space.
He says: “I’m an Australian but have been living in this country for 33 years. I was going through really bad depression because, in my 60s I found it was virtually impossible to get a job. You’d be sending off CVs and never get a reply. I’d had enough. I had no quality of life and couldn’t see the point of living.
“Who Dares Works got hold of me and I told them that I was going to end it all. They found Coastline Construct for me, and told me to give it a month and then see how I felt. That ‘month’ keeps getting extended and extended and extended.
“I’m feeling better about myself. I’m now earning a bit of money which has enabled me to buy a motorbike to let me get around and go for interviews for jobs.
“Before I had nothing. No job, nowhere to live and no quality of life. I’m now 63, working here and hope to move from this job to other things and just keep going. It’s changed my life.”