Bell Group & Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust – It’s not just Painting!

Every year JRHT undertake external painting of their properties with several organisations being invited to tender for the work. The process to procure the work not only involves comparing the most competitive prices, but also requires the contractor to work with JRHT in delivering the requirements set out by the National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC). Contractors make commitments to providing, Work Experience Placements, Apprentices, & Job Creations throughout the contract as well as added social value in the form of community investment activities.

This year, Bell Group (Leeds) were awarded the majority of the external painting contract.

We wanted to engage with JHRT residents from the initial set up of the contract and organised an open event at the Folk Hall in York. Allowing residents to ‘drop in’ to meet the team & discuss the work they were going to be doing. Residents from across New Earswick attended including some private owners that were considering painting their own property.

Following on from this, we worked alongside JRHT’s Community Involvement Team organising a Fun Event for residents in New Earswick. The Fire Brigade brought their Fire Engine along; Community Police Officers were making finger print book marks with the children and Bell Group had all sorts of arts and craft activities.

With community investment on the mind Bell Group contacted JRHT with regards to The Princes Trust, they were looking for a community project in the York area. As JRHT had listed The Prince’s Trust as a named partner within the NSAfC work placement criteria, this was an opportunity that was not to be missed.

So what is The Prince’s Trust? The Prince's Trust was founded in 1976 by The Prince of Wales. Having completed his duty in the Royal Navy, His Royal Highness became dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK, and began The Trust to deliver on that commitment. Their programme offers young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. They help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.

Following an initial meeting with Bell Group, JHRT and The Princes Trust, it was up to JRHT to identify a painting project that would benefit the community. The Sports Pavilion in New Earswick provided the perfect scenario as it serves the wider community as well as our residents.

The Prince’s Trust team was tasked with decorating 2 rooms using paint & materials supplied by Bell Group.  The team had 5 days to complete the project which they did; the finish was to a great standard and a real credit to their skills.