Students help transform old Shrewsbury pub into homeless charity's base

Students have been volunteering to help get a homeless charity’s new base ready to open.

Getting Shrewsbury Ark's new base ready at the old Rock and Fountain pub on Castle Foregate
Getting Shrewsbury Ark's new base ready at the old Rock and Fountain pub on Castle Foregate

The Ark in Shrewsbury is moving to its new home at the former Rock and Fountain Pub on Castle Foregate in Shrewsbury.

Volunteers, including some from SY Homes have been helping get the building ready, and they have been joined by painting and decorating students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group.

The youngsters have been using their newly-learnt skills to give the building’s rooms a fresh lick of paint.

The college’s work experience co-ordinator, Amanda Crane, said it had been a great opportunity for the students – who have been more than happy to help out a worthwhile cause.

She said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity as we have been able to support the students, who have missed any opportunities like this over the past two years due to Covid.

“It has been brilliant that the students could attend this work experience with tutors and other students as it has meant that they haven’t felt overwhelmed or nervous which they might have in they had to attend on their own.”

Students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group who have been helping to decorate the Ark's new base

College teacher, Jose Jarrett, said they were delighted at the opportunity.

He said: “It has been great from a teacher’s perspective to see the students take the skills they have developed so far and put them into practice.

“The students have shown professionalism throughout and by doing this task at the Ark lets them experience what it is like to be painter and decorator with on-the-job work experience. This has given them real focus for their next stages in their career.

“From the feedback I have received so far from the students, they have loved every minute of it and enjoy looking back at what they have achieved so far.”

Esther Dickson, Ollie Davies, Emma Hooper, Teresa Cross, Chloe Powell, Emma Bell from the Ark with teaching assistant Rachel Llewellyn

Emma Hooper, 16, one of the students who carried out the work, said: “This is a really great opportunity for me to learn not just at college but to be in an actual working environment on site.

"I’ve learnt so far from Jose how to use a roller, how to apply paint to a wall or ceiling, keep good housekeeping up and a lot more. To see the skills that Jose has shown us and to put them to good use is amazing for me.”

Emily Bell, chair of the Ark, said the students' help had been invaluable.

She said: "It has been amazing. It is such a life-saver for us. It saves time and money and it is such a lovely collaboration because it gives them time in a working environment to use the skills they are learning and saving us as a charity a lot of money and time."

She added: "We thought we might get a couple of students, three or four, but the fact it is 18 of them with staff every Friday is amazing."

The Ark is hoping to be open by New Year.

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