Glasgow Kelvin College’s Youthstart students have been doing their bit for the community AND for sustainability.
The ten students have spent the last two months designing, crafting, building, sanding and painting three amazing picnic benches for the FARE and Lochend Community Allotments Gardening School project in Easterhouse so that the local wee ones from FARE Play and other childcare projects can eat their snacks in comfort.
Eight of the lads involved together with their Joinery Tutor, Tracy Burns, were pleased to hand over the finished articles on a sunny morning in March at the plots opposite the community centre. The children were clearly pleased to have some shiny new furniture for their project.
The students researched the specification for nursery furniture online and fashioned the picnic tables from offcuts, repurposing materials and building high-quality products.
The Gardening School Project has been running since 2021 and encourages learning about the environment and sustainability from a very early age. The children get involved with active story-telling, seeding, planting, bird watching, insect spotting and generally have fun getting their hands dirty in the fresh air. A Royal Horticultural Society 5-star project, there are plans to build a mud kitchen and expand the vegetable garden and Glasgow Kelvin students hope to support that too. Lead Gardener and community worker with FARE, Susan Wilson, said:
“These fabulous picnic benches will give the children a place to chill, relax and eat their snacks – they sat on a groundsheet before! The benches fit right in with the sustainability approach here at FARE and this will be a great benefit to our outdoor play, for our own nursery children and those from the local community. Over 100 children from local nurseries and primary schools will make excellent use of these each week.
Our thanks go to the Youthstart group and Glasgow Kelvin College for another fine example of community partnership working!”
The group of 15-16yr old students from four local secondary schools attend the College each week and the Youthstart programme introduces them to trade skills across joinery, painting, brickwork and roofing. As well as the practical trades skills, the course provides personal development and ‘understanding industry’ elements. The students return to school for one half-day to develop their communication and numeracy skills.
Glasgow Kelvin Joinery Tutor, Tracy Burns, said:
“The guys have done incredibly well developing their hand-skills and groupworking. By recycling timber they’ve created a safe, quality resource for use by their local community. It’s impressive that our students’ talents are being used to help cement partnership working and invest in the future of our smallest residents.”
And the last word goes to the students themselves; Andrew Mowatt added:
“We’re really happy to see the wee ones using the picnic tables and, if they’re up for it, we’re delighted to do more work for our community. The hardest part of the build was sanding, but we know how important that is from a safety point of view. We’re just really pleased to be helping out.”
The students involved in the handover were Jay Brown, Kaden MacFarlane, Billy Giffen, Matthew McGill, Calvin Toal, Jayden Docherty, Kieran Muffin and Andrew Mowatt. All of the students will be applying to progress on to the College’s Pre-Apprenticeship programme in August.
The College values immensely its community partnerships and FARE have been, and continue to be, a key innovative and dynamic learning partner over the years. Glasgow Kelvin is justifiably proud of the work which our students and everyone involved with the project have done to create such a fine and sustainable resource for the community’s future residents.