Apprentices help build better futures for communities in Romania
7 December 2018
By embarking upon an apprenticeship, most individuals are striving to create a better future for themselves. But. two extremely dedicated apprentices have gone one step further and have helped create better futures for others in the process.
Lauren Jones and Campbell Girvan, apprentices from Casey in partnership with Apprenticeships at Salford City College, were given the opportunity of a lifetime when they were selected to fly out to Bucharest and help improve homes within deprived Romanian communities.
The pair, along with eight others, headed to Bucharest, Romania, for the expedition which was put on in partnership with Bolton at Home, Salix Homes and FAST Charity Romania. The charity, founded in 1998, works with families from marginalised communities in the centre of Romania. They aim to eliminate poverty, deprivation and discrimination in areas including Sacele, Tarlungeni, Zizin and Budila, by providing educational services and social assistance to families who are in need of this support.
(Campbell and Lauren)
The apprentices were sent out as part of the Building Better Futures Programme, which is now in its sixth year. Campbell, a plumbing apprentice employed by Casey was one of the apprentices chosen, as was Lauren, a professional construction trainee at Casey.
Lauren said: “I loved every second of my time working away in Romania. I met some truly amazing people, all with different qualities and mindsets, but all still truly remarkable. When I was invited on the trip, I believed my only goal was to go and do my best in changing the lives of the people out there in Romania. But, after spending two weeks there, I realised I did so much more than that. I have developed so many of my own skills and learnt so many new things whilst undertaking this experience, things that will stay with me and help me in the future.”
Lauren is currently studying at City Skills, Salford City College, for her BTEC Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, part of her technical and professional apprenticeship whilst working at Casey. She continued: “I have to say, the highlight of the experience was seeing all the local children getting involved with the work and seeing them so happy.“I am so honored to have been part of the project, building better futures and changing the lives of so many people.”
Brian Knowles, Contracts Manager at Casey, also believed this was a unique and worthwhile experience for the Casey apprentices. He said: “Casey are currently working on a number of projects with Salix Homes and have recruited several apprentices to work on the schemes. When Salix said they had two places available for the trip to Romania we thought it would be an excellent opportunity.
“As well as a great community project it would develop teamwork and expand horizons. Campbell and Lauren jumped at the chance to go. I think they went with a mix of excitement and trepidation but they returned full of confidence.
“I’m really proud of how hard they worked and how they handled themselves and they should be too.”
It would seem the pair have impressed not only their employer and the college but also trip organisers Bolton at Home. Terence Dawber, Building Surveyor from Bolton at Home and one of the team leaders on the trip, said: “Campbell was brilliant out there. He worked really hard and was somebody we could rely on to get tasks completed. It’s great to see such passion in younger colleagues and Campbell is full of it. He has some great knowledge of trades especially plumbing and should be extremely proud of all his accomplishments – great to see and be a part of.”
When commenting on Lauren’s performance, he said: “Lauren was brilliant with everything we threw at her. I couldn’t believe that her apprenticeship was at such an early stage. There is no doubt that she will make an amazing site manager.”
Maria Lester, Environmental Operations Manager at Salix Homes, added: “Both Lauren and Campbell did themselves and Casey proud and are a real credit to the organisation. Whilst out there we managed to build a football pitch, paint and plaster numerous houses, demolish a shack and dig out and build foundations for a new house, as well helping hundreds of children in the local community.”
Well done to all those involved!
Interested in an apprenticeship? Contact Apprenticeship at Salford City College on 0161 631 5555.