Management Trainees from national construction company, Willmott Dixon, have created an accessible summer house for children and adults with learning disabilities in Leicestershire as part of its annual trainee challenge.
18 Willmott Dixon trainees were joined by 13 teenage volunteers from the National Citizens Service programme to create the new facility for charity MacIntyre – which supports children and adults with learning disabilities – to provide a space for people to enjoy relaxation sessions, music and art therapy.
The annual trainee challenge aims to support local communities and provide Willmott Dixon’s trainees with the opportunity to deliver a project independently while supporting their local community.
Simone Codrington, who was a Management Trainee at Willmott Dixon but has now been promoted to Assistant Sustainability Manager, led the project. She said: “The project was a challenge from the very start, with it being a large-scale complex build to be completed in such a short space of time. Being involved in this scheme has allowed a customer relationship to be developed, whilst making a positive impact on not only the lives of the residents, but also those who care for the residents.”
The project, named Rose Cottage after a late resident, saw the creation of a new summer house, which will offer a separate space for residents.
Simone added, “This project has reinforced the importance of initial planning and collaboration, with my biggest learning involving the delays that can arise without a strong initial plan. Thank you to every single person that has contributed to this amazing end product.”
As part of the challenge Simone and her fellow trainees built a fully-functioning summer house and restored the surrounding garden area. They also installed a tracking hoist for ease of movement for the residents as well as heating facilities to ensure the building can be used year-round. The team also painted the inside and outside of the of the summer house, laid vinyl flooring and installed a long-lasting roof system to the building.
Jess Brookes, Senior Support Worker at MacIntyre, said, “The positive impact the summer house is going to make will be phenomenal. It will increase our space for activities enormously, giving the people we support access to the garden in inclement weather. It will provide a safe space for groups to get together and for individuals to enjoy one-on-one time. We have so many plans for how we are going to enjoy our Rose Cottage and are thrilled to be using it already.”
The challenge was supported by Willmott Dixon’s supply chain and design partners, who contributed through financial donations of £2,700 and £8,000 of materials, plus their time. CPMG Architects, Curtins, DSA, Jewson, Plaza Building, NG Bailey, Speedy Hire among many others all contributed towards the challenge.