Widows get to grips with DIY at a taster session run by Weston College

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By YouPR | Friday, November 30, 2012, 09:53

DRILLING, plaster boarding and putting up shelves were some of the DIY basics taught to a group of widows on a taster course at Weston College.

The half-day session for the seven women was held at the College's Construction and Engineering Centre of Excellence (CECE) in Locking Road.

Lecturer Matt Postins, who is also the regional Chairman of the Guild of Bricklayers, said: "It's been great to teach them the delights of cordless drilling.

"It's not about complicated DIY but having a go at basic tasks, hopefully, after trying these skills the ladies can save the money they may have had to pay to a builder."

Former legal secretary, Janet McArdle, 67, of Weston, was the woman who decided she and her friends needed a helping hand on the DIY front.

She said: "Most of us are widows and we've all got these tools but don't know how to use them properly. I used to help my husband but more in terms of holding up a shelf while he drilled – I wish I'd taken a bit more notice now!

"I tried putting up a bird box at home but got confused which size of screw to use. It's been a really useful course to do."

Sonia Fry, 68, of Worle, added: "I've got a lot of DIY equipment at home and I wanted to feel more confident about using it.

"It's been fun and has given me quite a lot to think about and we are all going to help each other out."

CECE Construction Service Leader, Steve Caldwell, said: "These taster days mean that people can have a go at a practical session with our staff and if they have enjoyed the activity then they might consider other courses at Weston College.

"Janet's request was unique so we listened to what the ladies hoped to gain from the session and ran a tailor-made afternoon."

In 2010, the College's Locking-based CECE won a National Training Award for the South West of England.

It delivers training in a wide range of construction occupations, including electrical installation, carpentry, trowel trades, painting and decorating, plastering, property maintenance, renewable energy and apprenticeships.

It has just launched full-time courses in plumbing and operations maintenance.

There are specialist workshops for training electricians and bespoke brickwork and carpentry workshops, along with a resource-based Learning Centre and computer suites to deliver online learning.

The CECE is also a test centre for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and health and safety card.

There is a 100% success rate for Level 2 qualifications with around 70% of CECE students finding work in industry while others use the skills they have developed to enhance their DIY capability.

The Locking Road campus is undergoing a £10 million sustainable building project due to be completed by September 2013.

As well as an employment skills centre to help people back into work the Business Enterprise Centre will expand and all weather sports surface will be laid.

To find out more about courses at Weston College call 01934 411 481 or go to www.weston.ac.uk



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