PUPILS at a County Durham primary school now have a place to store their wellies after construction students designed and built them a dedicated store and changing area.
The facility at Collierley Primary School in Dipton provides bespoke welly hangers and benching, which means children can sit in comfort to change their footwear. Large, lockable wooden doors and watertight store keep the wellies safe and dry.
It’s been created by students from Derwentside College as part of a scheme to give them hands-on experience of live projects. The project was delivered by the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), a partnership between Durham County Council and Keepmoat Homes, which ran from July 2018 until March this year.
Around 20 students, aged between 16 and 39, were involved in the project.
“This collaboration has enabled our apprentices and full-time construction students to work across a range of disciplines and trades,” said Ken Johnson, deputy head of the college’s construction faculty. “The benefits are far reaching, providing opportunities to get hands on experience, problem solve, manage a project and practice skills. For the school we are able to provide a needed facility.”
Angela McDermid, head teacher at Collierley Primary School, added: “We are thrilled with our new welly store. The pupils love it and are taking very good care of it. Playtimes are 20% of the school day, so we invest heavily for these times to be positive and active experiences. This includes opportunities for the children to extend their scientific skills by planting in the allotment areas or mixing potions in the mud and sand kitchens. The new welly store helps towards making these activities more manageable.”
Geoff Scott, social and economic impact manager with Keepmoat Homes in the North East, said: “Keepmoat Homes is passionate about supporting the communities in which it is developing and we’re proud that through the DVRC and this initiative particularly, we have not only helped create a new facility for the school but also provided work experience to the construction professionals of tomorrow.”
Councillor Carl Marshall, DVRC’s chair and Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Forging partnerships like this provides so many opportunities including training, experience and the development of close working relationships within the communities we operate. The students at Derwentside College are the next generation of construction workers, so it is vital we invest in their future and that of the industry.”
DVRC is currently developing a site just off Palmer Road at Dipton, which will comprise a mixture of 59 two-, three- and four-bedroomed homes.
Main Image: (Left to right seated): Faye Greenwell, 7; Laura Henderson, work placement officer at Derwentside College; Amy Davison and Holly McCall, both 11; Zac Routledge, 6; Angela McDermid; Josh Proctor and Zach Duffy, both six, with Ken Johnson (crouching). (Left to right standing) College students Callum Cook ,21; Bradley Colley and Chris Conlin, both 19; Peter Fox, carpentry and joinery lecturer at the college and Geoff Scott