Residents from Progress Housing Group have rolled up their sleeves and got stuck into a DIY master class, organised by Bell Group UK and their social landlord.
The painting and decorating contractor – which is delivering a five-year cyclical decoration contract for Progress Housing Group – ran activities on the day, as part of its commitment to creating social value.
The £2 million contract – ending in 2019 and awarded through Fusion21’s External Painting and Repairs Framework – sees Bell undertake both internal and external painting works; and pre-paint repairs.
The DIY day took place in a void property in Leyland, Lancashire, and gave unemployed residents aged between 18-50 years, the chance to learn and observe valuable DIY skills to help maintain their homes.
Residents learnt new skills including wall preparation for painting; painting with rollers, cutting in and woodwork painting – in addition to learning how to wallpaper and hang new doors.
Image above: Residents learn how to prepare and hang new doors during the DIY day.
The group also talked to Bell about having a career in the construction industry, and heard about how to select the most appropriate tools and materials for a project – thanks to a talk from Dulux, which donated workshop paint supplies.
Having successfully completed the master class, residents now have the opportunity to apply for a two-week voluntary work placement with Bell Group UK – to further develop their skills in roles such as: joinery; painting and decorating; and administration.
Ronnie Southworth, Asset Manager at Progress Housing Group, said: “Working collaboratively with Fusion21 and Bell Group UK, we are enhancing living spaces for our customers – in addition to providing added social value which will have a positive impact on residents and the local community.
“The DIY day is a great way of supporting residents to develop home maintenance skills – whilst also providing an insight of what it’s like to work in the construction trade.”
Anna Higham, Community Investment Manager at Bell Group UK, commented: “Adding value to the communities in which we operate is at the heart of what we do – this includes supporting local people to learn useful DIY skills, in addition to introducing a potential career path.
“It has been fantastic to work alongside the Community Investment team at Progress Housing Group, and hold an event that has been so well received by residents. We are already planning to hold similar events later in the year.”