As part of our Constructing Communities programme, we’ve been at Valence House renovating their Anderson shelter.

Last week the second Constructing Communities project kicked off, funded by the Mayor of London’s Young Londoner’s Fund.

The programme sees young people deliver projects within their local community; helping them develop practical construction skills, introducing them to the range of construction careers available, and giving them the opportunity to interact positively with their local community.

"It's been excellent, I've loved every second of it. I've been doing a bit of drilling, sawing, it's stuff I want to do as a career”

Our project last week took place at Valence House Museum with a group of local young people from Barking and Dagenham, who set to work over three days renovating an Anderson shelter. Although the weather conditions were not always ideal, our young people soldiered on and succeeded in transforming the shelter in only three days, much to the delight of the park ranger who really appreciated their hard work!

One of the main aims of Constructing Communities is to raise the aspirations of young people that have become disillusioned with their futures and are unsure about how to take the next steps in their careers. Some young people may have never had the chance to follow a project through from start to finish and feel the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from standing next to a finished product. Seeing how they can develop and grow their skills in just a short time, allows young people to get excited about their own potential and develop confidence in their abilities. 

"I've never done this sort of thing before. I've learned how to work as a team"

Through Constructing Communities we want to nurture the development of our young people, so that they leave us inspired and looking forward to their possible future opportunities. Following this taster of construction, we will be working with the group to identify and achieve their next best steps.