Pendennis Apprentices support the community

As part of National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), 62 apprentices from Pendennis volunteered at local schools, charities and community projects who often struggle to find the funds or manpower to maintain their facilities.

This ‘Community Help’ project was launched by Pendennis during NAW three years ago, with this year’s event being the most successful and productive yet as the hard work of our apprentices made a significant impact on ten local causes. Sue Smith (Founder & Site Manager) of K9 Crusaders said she was delighted to welcome the Pendennis apprentices to the site. “We are a dog welfare charity which provides an invaluable community service within Cornwall, however, we are always limited by the funds available, so assistance with general maintenance tasks such as the re-felting of roofs and various minor repairs has made such a difference to us. The apprentices were very pleasant and courteous, and we have nothing but praise for Pendennis and their ‘Community Help’ scheme. We are extremely grateful and would love to welcome them back any time.”

Other organisations that benefitted included the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Falmouth Cricket Club, Falmouth’s St Piran’s Day Parade, Treleigh Community Primary School, King Charles Church, Mylor Sailability, Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust, Boot Up! in Perranarworthal, and Mylor Pre School. Samantha Williams, Teacher and member of the Senior Leadership Team at Treleigh expressed their gratitude: “A huge thank you to Pendennis and the apprentices who have been an absolute credit to the company. We have a heavily wooded area which needed a mammoth effort to clear it so that the children could safely use it for Outdoor Education. Over two days the teams of apprentices worked with our groundsman, Nick, to clear the whole area, put up new fencing, create a fire pit area and generally clean, tidy and sort the space. The resulting space now provides a fantastic learning resource for the children.”

Boot Up! Outdoor Learning provides a place of nurture and support through outdoor education for vulnerable children ages 11-16 years across Cornwall. Operations Manager Jane Atkinson explained why the Pendennis Community Help scheme was so valuable to them: “ The staff at Boot Up! have long dreamed of having the manpower to re-purpose a derelict 60ftx40ft greenhouse that sits in the centre of their site, making it into a multi-use indoor space for both classroom and creative activities, and to provide a much needed safe and familiar meeting room for carers, families and professionals. After explaining our vision, Pendennis Shipyard sent along five skilled apprentices for two days. Manpower of 10 is something we could only dream of! In just two days they have cleared the greenhouse of brambles, rubbish and glass and removed parts of the dangerous structure. They have been truly wonderful, so polite and willing. It has been one of the best things that has ever happened as it has encouraged one of our school leavers to consider applying for an apprenticeship, something he would never have had the confidence to do without meeting the apprentices from Pendennis. We can’t thank them all enough.”

During the week a team from Pendennis also competed in the Cornwall College Business Apprenticeship Games, and after a day of a wide range of challenges were victorious! Lorna Martin from CCB said “The winning team from Pendennis demonstrated amazing team building skills, good communication, leadership and encouragement to each other, and other teams. It was great fun to spend the day with them. They were so dedicated to each challenge, and it showed with a win! They truly deserved it.”

Jill Carr, HR Director at Pendennis and founder of the apprenticeship scheme, is naturally proud of all their achievements. “The positive feedback from all the organisations we have helped during National Apprenticeship Week is truly heartwarming, and we are delighted that our apprentices have been such inspiring ambassadors for both the Shipyard and for apprenticeships,” enthused Jill. “Winning the Apprenticeship Games was the icing on the cake to a phenomenal week, and a great celebration of our Apprenticeship Scheme’s 20th anniversary.”