High Sheriff visit to ToolShedJune 24, 2016 8:40 am
Heart of Bucks arranged a special visit for the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Milly Soames and the Under Sheriff, Sarah Plumridge to the ToolShed in High Wycombe – an alternative education centre offering multi-trade construction traineeships for young people.
Milly and Sarah had an opportunity to meet the current cohort of trainees who are undertaking an intense 18-week programme that includes a level 1 multi-trade construction skills course. Talking to the trainees about how the ToolShed has helped them one young man commented “It’s awesome, I’ve realised my potential is limitless”.
ToolShed’s main aim is to encourage creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in young people by offering them traineeships which suit a more hands-on approach to learning. The centre is managed by New Meaning – a social enterprise looking to help tackle social problems and improve young people’s life chances.
“Meeting the staff and trainees of Toolshed, I was impressed by their passion and commitment to making a difference to their future. The work linked to the Youth Offenders scheme has shown fantastic results and the Toolshed demonstrates that young people do have a choice, even if their previous ones have limited their options.” said Milly.
ToolShed’s initial aim was to reach out to 16-24 year olds who had not fulfilled their potential at school. However, they found they were attracting interest from people aged over 25 too. ToolShed faces various challenges to make their programmes sustainable, particularly with the older trainees who are not able to receive government funding.
A family fund managed by Heart of Bucks with a specific interest in inspiring entrepreneurship in young people was paired together with the ToolShed to award a grant of £5,000. The grant helped to sponsor 16 young people to complete the course and obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, a health and safety certificate, an English and Maths qualification and a certificate on employability skills.