Calne's Repair Academy makes sure nothing is left to waste
Jane Scott with young people training – Matt Chalk, Paul Kellaway, James Boswell-Bartlett, Kellie Haines and Helena Pullinger
A new project launched this week will see young people in Wiltshire gain new skills and help the environment by refurbishing items thrown away at the tip.
Youngsters not in education, employment or training will restore furniture and white goods at The Repair Academy, a warehouse on Calne’s Porte Marsh Industrial Estate.
The trial project, which will run until the end of the year, has received a £58,000 grant from the Wiltshire Police Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson and the teenagers were recruited through Community First and Youth Action Wiltshire.
They are being trained to refurbish the items by engineers from Kennet Furniture Recycling and Waste Not Want Not, and their efforts will help disadvantaged families needing furniture.
Sam Hill, from Youth Action Wiltshire, said: “I want to thank the young people that have been involved. There really has been a lot of hard graft and effort to get this place together.
“The main hope is they will leave this project to go into employment or training. For some of them college is still an option but some of them are not able to go to college.”
Kellie Haines, 17, from Calne, was on a hair and beauty course at Wiltshire College before joining The Repair Academy project.
She said: “I didn’t really like college and this was a better option for me.
“We built a shelf the other week. I have brothers, so I know what I’m doing. A lot of people say things like that’s for boys, but I enjoy doing things like that.”
Karl Crawford, 17, from Salisbury, left school after taking his GCSEs. He has been unemployed since, but would like to be a plumber.
He said: “Since leaving school I’ve been at a bit of a loose end, but this will hopefully get me into the job market.”
Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Waste Not Want Not, Wiltshire College and Swindon College are part of the programme.
The items to be refurbished will come from three recycling sites run by Hills Waste.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said the scheme would help reduce waste.
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