Construction Workshop at Un...

Construction Workshop at Union Terrace

April 2024

2 Min Read

Since November 2023, current and ex-residents of our York-based Union Terrace accommodation have been given the opportunity to get involved in a construction project.

Our residents with prior experience in construction have been part of building a training workshop - facilitated by our Pre-Employment Coach Nathan Killeya - in which they can teach a variety of construction skills to other residents.

Once the workshop is completed, the initial objective is to offer a programme of taster sessions in bricklaying, plastering, joinery, basic pipework, general building & tool skills, and health & safety.

The emphasis is on flexibility for residents to get involved. It is envisaged regular timetabled slots will run throughout with drop-in slots, enabling the participation of individuals who are recruited at 'a good moment'.

Nathan's experience of working with young people in and out of education continues to inform and shape his practice. Developing a positive relationship with an individual and seizing 'a good moment' can make the difference and overcome the huge barrier the individual carries within them - a lack of trust and belief - to engage with services, and for our staff to be able to support people into a better future.

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The project was born out of two observations made by Nathan:

  1. Residents with construction skills and knowledge were lacking purpose within their day-to-day, and their self-identity was diminished due to systems emphasis on their problems, rather than a strengths-based approach.
  2. Residents had wishes to access training and improve their employability, but felt unable to navigate opportunities in the community due to anxiety and low self-confidence.

Work commenced on the project Nov 15th and has proceeded on most Wednesdays since. So far, 5 current residents and 2 ex residents have been involved in the build. A key driver of the project’s progress is the availability of residents. The project is both about the build process, and the individual outcomes and self-esteem benefits its' completion enables.

Project costs have been kept to a minimum through donations from building merchants, with any additional expenditure covered by funds raised by our Bike Maintenance Project developed by our long-standing volunteer John.

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