A team of students from Stockport College completed a four day makeover at the pavilion in Whaley Bridge’s ‘sports village’, painting and decorating the cement walls and giving the doors and cupboards a classic ‘mahogany look’. They even cleaned up old marks on the copper pipes in case anyone though they had caused them and not bothered to clean up!
It was all part of the curriculum for the 13 students, aged 16-19, giving them practical experience outside the college. It will go towards helping them gain NVQ level two qualification in painting and decorating.
Tutor Tony Wallace, a 53-year-old father of two, worked alongside them, passing on tips from his 30 years experience in painting and decorating. This included painting and decorating cruise ships, including papering walls with 52 inch wide rolls of paper, something his students are unlikely ever to have to do.
Londoner Tony lives in Liverpool with the wife he met in Northern Ireland, and where he started his teaching career with government training programmes. He loves his college job and said: “I get a buzz out of it. It’s enrichment for the students, a great opportunity for them to work in the real world. It enhances their education. They’ve enjoyed the chance to create something special.”
The pavilion stands next to the advanced artificial turf pitch, called 3G (third generation surface) and opened earlier this year. The pavilion is used by Whaley Bridge FC teams, junior teams (boys and girls). The pitch is used by footballers, sometimes under floodlights, school children and a growing number of companies for staff recreation.
After their work finished, the 13 students – along with tutor Tony – had a quick game on the artificial surface.
A local group, known as Whaley4Wards (W4W), and chaired by town councillor Jon Goldfinch, negotiated the Stockport College project. The town council purchased the paint, and the labour was free – a bargain for ratepayers!.
Said Jon, who was chair of the council at the opening of 3G: ” This has been a superb project for W4W to be involved with from the moment that Cllr Susanne Lomas came up with the original idea. Tony and his students can be justifiably proud of the absolutely top quality work they have done. What makes it particularly worthwhile to everyone involved in this, is to hear from the students themselves how much they have enjoyed doing a real project outside of the classroom, which has given them both experience and the opportunity to practice in anger the skills they have been taught so well. The work they have done counts towards their exams and also benefits Stockport College as these types of projects are viewed favourably by ofsted. I really hope this is just the start of a great relationship with Stockport College, and I cannot thank them enough for the professional job that they have done. The students were great, really motivated and a credit to the college.”
Tutor Tony added: “Everybody gains. It was a great opportunity for our students and the council has had work done which they otherwise could not afford.”
Tony has suggested that pictures on the walls of some of Whaley Bridge’s sporting heroes would make the pavilion look even better.
The pavilion and the artificial pitch are immediately next to football pitches and a skatepark, much used by youngsters on skateboards and bikes, All have had significant investment in the last year.
¨ Bookings for the all-weather floodlit 3G artificial turf pitch can be made at http://www.whaleybridge.com/agp-3g-bookings (£28/hr pk £15/hr offpk)