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Student volunteers deliver children’s charity centre face lift
BDC students at Margaret McMillan House during the renovation project.

Student volunteers deliver children’s charity centre face lift

10 July 2014

Over 300 volunteer hours have been donated by student plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators, plasterers and trainee construction site managers from Barking & Dagenham College as part of a project led by VINCI Facilities (part of the global giant VINCI Construction operation) to renovate a residential activity centre for underprivileged children.

Update: Watch this great video produced by Barking & Dagenham College media students Pavel Burmistrov and Ahmed Maqsood to find out more about this project and to meet the construction students involved.


The 14 College volunteers worked alongside construction industry professionals on the three-day project to transform Margaret McMillan House in Wrotham, Kent which is run by the children’s charity Wide Horizons.

A short film showing the centre’s transformation was created by the College’s video production students and unveiled at City Hall this week in front of invited guests who came together to celebrate the project’s success. Guests included Cathy Walsh OBE, Principal & CEO of Barking & Dagenham College and Jennette Arnold OBE, London assembly member for North East London.

The renovation project, which pooled the talents of students and professional tradespeople, was the brainchild of construction giant VINCI as part of their commitment to working with young people and communities.

It was the first time on a real construction site for many of the students, giving them the chance to hone their skills by working alongside the professionals. VINCI partners Fathorn Farrell Timms, Broadway Decorating, Akzonobel Dulux, Scaffolding Access, M&I Flooring, PRB Estates all donated time and materials to transform the day room, dormitory, corridors and roof.

Liam Rogers, 20 from Dagenham, who is studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Construction at Level 3 at the College said:

 “This was an amazing project to be part of. Studying at a Gazelle College like Barking & Dagenham means we have opportunities like this to work with employers to see what the world of work is really like.

“It’s great to think that our hard work means that children have a better time when they stay here. I’ve got such a sense of achievement and I’ve learnt so much that will help me in my career too. VINCI have been great and I hope I can be involved in more projects like this.”

Josephine O’Connor, business and community investment manager VINCI Facilities said:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to see just how much the students and our own people have gained from this project. Giving anyone, young, old, disabled or disadvantaged the help, skills and support they need whilst we do our day job is a core goal for everyone within VINCI. With such superb backing from our supply chain, the students and Wide Horizons the project has been a great success and we hope it will be a model for future Social Value work.”

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