Women Construct Wales is an innovative project that supports women of all ages, background and circumstance to learn construction and employability skills through the renovation of empty properties across Wales.
The project supports women to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required to progress into employment in the construction industry. Providing a pre-employment pathway through the renovation of properties, the project supports the development of participants’ construction skills in an active, empathetic and supportive environment, free from intimidation and stigma.
As well as providing construction experience, the project seeks to address the challenges and barriers faced by women wishing to pursue employment in this industry.
Anne Long took part in the Women Construct Wales project in Neath after seeing it advertised on social media. At the time of referral Anne was a full-time carer for her father, having previously been employed as a Nursery Nurse and worked in Occupational Therapy.
Anne joined the project as she wanted to make new social connections, to regain her self-belief and self-worth and feel a sense of achievement for learning new skills.
Anne also had an interest in construction, having been involved in a previous home build and the extension of her current home, therefore felt the project would offer an opportunity to learn trade skills in a supportive environment.
Anne attended the project when she could, balancing her caring responsibilities for her father alongside her project attendance. The flexibility of Women Construct Wales allowed her to combine these responsibilities whilst learning new skills and meeting new people.
During her time on the project, Anne developed a wide range of trade skills, listening intently to the project tutors and keeping them on their toes with a wide range of thoughts and questions!
Anne was a well-liked member of the group and even brought her dog in at times, who was a trained therapy dog!
Anne was supported to develop a range of trade skills, including plastering, tiling, kitchen/bathroom fitting, carpentry and painting & decorating. Not only did Anne develop new skills, her confidence grew throughout the project alongside her sense of achievement.
Although employment in the construction industry was not a key outcome for Anne, she was keen to utilise the project in order to make new social connections and increase her confidence, whilst being able to learn new skills that would allow her to maintain her own home.
Anne returned to caring for her father at project end having achieved what she set out to do and we wish her well for the future.
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