Teams win community award for work at sheltered housing

Princes Trust project - MK teams with Andrew Turner, chairman of Norfolk Capital.
Princes Trust project - MK teams with Andrew Turner, chairman of Norfolk Capital.

A group of young people who took part in a working programme with the Prince’s Trust have won an award for a project they ran in Milton Keynes.

Their work in improving Buckland Lodge, a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly, was recognised with a Community Impact Award, supported by Norfolk Capital, at The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards in the Central East region, held in Norwich on November 7.

Buckland Lodge

Buckland Lodge

Taking part in the trust’s Team programme, three separate groups, Teams CLMK 2, 3, and 4, of unemployed young people - each facing their own personal barriers - raised more than £2,000 to help fund renovation works, which they then carried out themselves at the housing scheme.

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx and Homesense Awards recognise the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life, had a positive impact on their local community, as well as those who have played a part in supporting the work of The Trust.

Jason Pinnock, Team leader, from Community Learning Milton Keynes, said: “We ran three Team programmes in quick succession and each group wanted to direct their community project efforts towards Buckland Lodge, a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly which receives little financial or community support.

“To date The Prince’s Trust Teams have transformed the social lounge, kitchen, laundry, and refuse room. They have renovated seven flats, repainted internal window frames, weeded and tidied the garden and restored outdoor furniture and decking.”

Each group of young people supplied all the equipment and tools they needed themselves, using funds from the money they collectively raised through sponsored bag packs and other activities. They had money left over to buy new benches, and invest in a fund for dedicated social events at the lodge‎‎.

At the ceremony held in Norwich, Team member Will Gover, 23, from Milton Keynes, said: “For all of us, this is a brilliant award, recognising all our efforts. During the project, Jason, our Team leader, empowered us to work as a unit but also with everyone at Buckland Lodge. It was so great seeing everyone happy at the end of the project.”

Showing compassion and empathy, the young people from all three Team programmes gained new levels of respect for the elderly and a better understanding of the care sector. Several members expressed an interest in working in care, and six completed work placements at the lodge itself.

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards will be touring the United Kingdom in October and November with celebratory ceremonies taking place in each region. The event in Norwich was hosted by TV presenter Anna Williamson and journalist Nina Nannar.

TK Maxx is a Platinum partner of The Prince’s Trust and has been working with them since since 2013, becoming one of the trust’s largest delivery partners of the Get into Retail programme. This two to six week course develops young people’s skills in the retail sector and supports them into positive outcomes in retail.

In 2016 Homesense, the sister company of TK Maxx, appointed The Prince’s Trust as their national charity partner. Homesense are supporting The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme which helps vulnerable young people achieve in their local communities. Store associates and customers from across Homesense’s 55 stores are raising funds for the Trust through a number of in-store campaigns.

TK Maxx and HomeSense say they are are proud to have helped over 875 young people through the Get into Retail programme, and their sponsorship of the Achieve programme.

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust gives disadvantaged young people the skills and confidence to find a job. Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education.