Contractor provides charity with right tools

Date: Tuesday 07 January 2014

A brickwork company has donated new tools worth around £750 to a skills charity which helps vulnerable young people to gain vocational qualifications.

A Typical TW Street Scene

The St Edmunds Society, which enables students to learn skills such as carpentry and bricklaying, recently opened a new workshop in Oak Street, Norwich, after outgrowing its old premises in Bull Close.

Link Construction, a contractor for Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, donated the tools after Managing Director Gary Humphries went along to the official opening of the workshop to view the facilities.

Gary says: “As a Taylor Wimpey contractor, I knew about the St Edmund’s Society as I’ve taken part in the Sleep Out and a charity golf day, both in aid of the organisation.

“I got an invitation to the opening of the new centre and I thought it was a brilliant facility. But when we got to the brickwork area, they had just three trowels on the tool board.”

Gary spent around £750 on high-quality tools for the workshop including bolsters, tape measures, buckets, trowels, spirit levels and brick hammers, giving the students the best possible equipment to work with.

Gary says: “The students we met seemed really keen and, above all, grateful for the chance they were being given. I’m delighted we've been able to lend our support to the St Edmund’s Society and hope the tools will be put to good use for many years to come.”

Lorraine Bliss, St Edmunds Society Chief Executive, says: “This is a fantastic donation from Link Construction which gives the students the best tools available to learn practical bricklaying skills. We will put the tools to good use and hope it helps our young people go on to find employment when they leave us.”

The St Edmunds Society was founded in 1967 to work with vulnerable young people. Its Skills Development Project started life with a workbench and a lathe at the charity’s former Earlham Road premises, where they could only cater for two students at a time.

It was quickly inundated with referrals from schools, so a skills centre was established in Bull Close in 2006. Now it has moved to its bigger premises in Oak Street, the charity aims to help even more young people gain vocational qualifications, as well as improving their English, maths and computing skills.

The centre works with young people aged 14 to 25 from the Norwich city area, but also has pupils referred from schools across Norfolk, including Cromer and Thetford.

For more information about the work of St Edmunds Society and its Skills Development Project, visit