New skills workshop opens for children at Sunderland care home

Dylan Murray shows David Spinks from Northumbrian water, Mike Dawson from Gowland and Dawson LTD and Dennis Richardson, Community Chair    around the new training workshop at Monument View Children's Home.
Dylan Murray shows David Spinks from Northumbrian water, Mike Dawson from Gowland and Dawson LTD and Dennis Richardson, Community Chair around the new training workshop at Monument View Children's Home.
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YOUNG people living at Wearside care home are keen to get their hands dirty in a new workshop.

A specialised training facility has been built at Monument View Children’s Home, to provide extra hands-on learning opportunities for the youngsters who live there.

Sunderland City Council, Northumbrian Water and construction company Gowland and Dawson joined forces to donate time and funding to build the facility on the site of the Penshaw home and the staff and young people are thrilled.

One of the teenagers, Dillan Murray, 16, said: “It’s going to be really good because it will give us something interesting to do.

“I’m hoping they will get an old car for us to work on.

“There’s always something to do and things going on at the home.”

Seven young people aged between 12 and 17, with challenging behaviours, live in the home.

Manager Graeme Conley said they aim is to cater for all of them.

“We tailor things to their individual needs,” he said.

“If a person is interested in something we will focus on that. The workshop will be a big benefit.”

The home already includes an allotment for growing flowers and vegetables, as well as letting the young people care for ducks, chickens and geese, up to NVQ standard.

And, the new garage-type workshop will provide on-site work placements for the young people to take part in vocational training and NVQs in mechanics and woodwork.

They can learn how to service and maintain mountain bikes, go karts, jet-skis and quad bikes, under the guidance of a qualified motor mechanic.

Sunderland City Council’s Coalfield Area Committee gave £25,000 out of the Strategic Initiatives Budget to build the workshop.

Northumbrian Water provided match funding in kind in the form of project management, and Mike Dawson donated his time and effort to carry out the building work at cost price.

“The home provides such an essential and life-changing service,” said Northumbrian Water’s Jane Dunn.

“The skills that young people will learn will help them to focus on what they want to do in the future, and we wish them all the best of luck.”

Mike Dawson, said: “It was a wonderful experience to be involved with Northumbrian Water in such a worthwhile project.”

Councillor Pat Smith, Sunderland Council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The project will allow the young people to gain the necessary life and social skills, as well as improving school attendance and behaviour.”

Twitter: @sunechoschools

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