Young apprentices help refresh local charity properties

An apprenticeship opportunity has opened up with two local charities this month, thanks to the launch of a newly donated three-year handyman service.

Three multi-skill maintenance apprentices will be rotated to help maintain charity shops and hospices for The Donna Louise Trust and Douglas Macmillan Hospice across the area. An experienced handyman, provided by Staffordshire-based PM Training, has been seconded to maintain the charity properties, accompanied by the apprentices.

The work has already begun on the charity shops and will include fitting, plumbing, painting and decorating, building, and refurbishments on the 22 charity properties. The apprentices will assist with the work, whilst learning important trade skills to further their development and career.

Will Nixon, Managing Director of PM Training and Trustee of Realise charity, commented: “This is a fabulous opportunity for our young apprentices to get valuable hands-on experience and guidance, whilst also learning about some of the fantastic things that our hard-working local charities do for the community as a whole. We’re really excited about this partnership and the prospects it holds for the future.”

The handyman service is being funded by Realise charity, at an estimated cost of £150k for the three-year service. A branded Citroen Relay box van will also be supplied as part of the arrangement.

The apprentices will be undertaking training on site and at PM Training’s Chesterton learning facilities. The two-year apprenticeship course will be funded in equal parts by Donna Louise and Dougie Mac.

Liz Clarke, Head of Retail at Dougie Mac, said: “We are delighted to have members of the PM Training team on board to help us deliver a quality decorative finish and fantastic look and feel in our newly relocated Stoke shop.

“The team are all a real breath of fresh air and have played a pivotal part in our project to get the new shop up and running. PM Training has also been a source of ongoing support throughout our entire shops regeneration project and will be undertaking future work with us.

“It’s great to see young people in the area being given such opportunities to advance in their chosen career path and we’re glad that we at Dougie Mac have been able to facilitate this in a mutually beneficial partnership.”

Simon Fuller, CEO, Donna Louise, commented: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the help, advice and work that PM Training has given to The Donna Louise Hospice. Their support within the hospice and also at our new furniture and electrical shop in Newcastle has made such a huge difference and we look forward to their continued support in the future.

“We’ve had great feedback on the look and feel of our new Newcastle shop and we can’t thank the team at PM Training enough for what they did in helping to transform the former car showroom on Blackfriars Road. So, on behalf of all the children and young adults, and their families, supported by The Donna Louise – thank you.”