Volunteers help Apuldram centre

Members of the Prince's Trust and Goodwood Hotel who helped transform the Apuldram Centre. They are pictured with centre manager Jane Kilby (in green).''Pic by Clare Hawkin
Members of the Prince's Trust and Goodwood Hotel who helped transform the Apuldram Centre. They are pictured with centre manager Jane Kilby (in green).''Pic by Clare Hawkin

A group of volunteers helped give a Chichester charity a facelift as part of a Changing Rooms-style project.

On Friday 16 young people on a Prince’s Trust scheme and 15 members of staff from Goodwood Hotel took donned overalls and took up paintbrushes and rollers after being given just a day to transform various buildings at the Apuldram Centre, which supports adults with learning difficulties.

The centre had advertised for help on the website Skill Share West Sussex, which lists opportunities for professionals, students and other members of the community to share their expertise and time with charities.

The three organisations were brought together by Jack Broadley of the leadership development company Pelorus Consulting which works with Goodwood.

Among the tasks were painting the shop, the garage, fences around the site and breathing new life into the common room.

Project coordinator for the Prince’s Trust in Bognor Regis, Roy Newnham-Grenier said the group was currently on a 12-week self-development course which involved community projects, and last month were also involved with a project to improve the BMX track in Selsey.

“They may have been out of employment for a long time or dropped out of school, and this helps increase their self esteem and build up their confidence so they can get into further education or employment,” he said.

Food and beverages manager for Goodwood Hotel, Ryan Grant, said: “We are working with people who need a bit of a boost, who are looking at getting back into the workplace and need experience of work.

“We are trying to give them a nice experience of work and put comforting arm around them and pointing them in the right direction.”

Kyle Wilmer, 18, from Selsey was one of those taking part and applied after moving down from Swindon.

“I was looking for something to do, I’ve made a lot of mates I didn’t really have before I came here, it’s been brilliant, I’ve been really enjoying it. I’m hoping to get into the public services and the Prince’s Trust has a lot of contacts in that area.”

Jade Botting, 17, from Chichester said she had got a lot out of the scheme and was now looking forward to starting a job in the caring profession in May: “I was out of school and felt like I needed to do something with my life, and I wanted to make new friends,” she said.

“It’s been brilliant, I think it’s helped me so much and I’ve discovered I’ve got new skills and I’ve done a lot of stuff I never thought I’d be able to do like a 100 foot abseil and canoeing.”

Fellow scheme member Tyler Sandalls, 18, of Chichester, said it had been a very busy day and that he had enjoyed learning new skills.

Apuldram Centre manager Jane Kilby said: “It’s been a wonderful experience for everyone and a wonderful opportunity for community groups to work together. I would certainly encourage businesses to go on to Skill Share website, it’s a good way to give staff experience of working in the community.”

n The Prince’s Trust is currently recruiting for its next scheme starting in May.

It is aimed at young people aged 16 to 25, to apply contact Roy Newnham-Grenier by emailing rn1@ccb.ac.uk or calling 07841 066846.