We recently collaborated with Waltham Forest College to give its students some work experience in the community. The gym hallway in our Health and Wellbeing Centre at YMCA Walthamstow was in need of a lick of paint to freshen it up for our members, and the students, aged 16 to 18, who are studying for their diploma in Painting & Decorating kindly obliged with their services.
Half a dozen students came along with their tutor Leon Smith for a day to paint the brickwork, walls and woodwork.
It was a great way for the students to practice their skills, which they are learning about in dedicated room sets at the college, as well as giving them valuable experience of working in a public community setting. The students are also currently working on a housing project in Wood Street and private commercial businesses, giving them a broad experience of the different work they can expect once they have gained their diploma.
At our recent I Am Whole mental health campaign at YMCA Walthamstow in October, we were joined by two beauty therapy students who offered massage and manicures to the public, promoting a sense of wellbeing and giving them a good opportunity to hone their skills. We hope to extend the collaboration with Waltham Forest College further in the coming year to see students from all different courses gaining work experience in areas such as catering, fitness, admin, youth work and maintenance.
Our hostel is a big site, dedicated to providing good quality housing for vulnerable and homeless people in the borough, along with services for the community in youth work, childcare and fitness. It’s part of our mission as a YMCA to offer training and education to young local people and we are looking forward to a great partnership with Waltham Forest College in the future.