Volunteers from building and maintenance firm Rok have teamed up with players from Worcester Warriors rugby club to create a stimulating teaching environment at a high school.
The band of experts from Rok and first team players have helped create special ‘nurture’ classrooms at Elgar Technology Centre on Bilford Road, Worcester, designed for students with learning difficulties.
Mick Harley, Rok team leader for Worcester and co-ordinator of the project, said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response from Rok people wanting to give their time and skills to help with the project at the school. We really feel we can make a difference and have a lasting impact for the school.”
Elgar Community College was placed in special measures in February 2007. Since his appointment in January 2008, head teacher Andy Grace has been working with the support of the local education authorities and school governors to start a process of improvement.
The Elgar Technology College refurbishment is the latest voluntary project to be undertaken by the building firm, which operates a network of offices across the region, and forms part of its ‘community challenge’ initiative.
All Rok employees are actively encouraged to lend their time and expertise to assist with local causes and to take a full part in the communities they live and work in.
Rok chief executive Garvis Snook explained: “Rok’s aim is to become the ‘Nation’s Local Builder’ with employees working and living in the communities they serve. The concept of Rok Community Challenges is strongly linked to this vision and grew out of a desire to help others help themselves.
“From a business perspective, the challenges are an effective way for Rok to demonstrate building skills and expertise. They promote our position as a local builder and provide opportunities for us to be visible, meeting and engaging people. But the benefits for the business, our employees and the local community as a whole, reach much further.”
Mick Harley added: “Challenges, such as the one at Elgar Technology College, enable us to get closer to the communities of which we are a part and to understand them better, as we work towards a common goal. They act as a catalyst, bringing people together and improving the environments we live in, as teams often help premises which might otherwise have been left due to the cost needed to tackle it.
“The concept really harks back to generating community spirit and making a difference to the environment in which we live and operate. For individuals, they provide an opportunity for personal growth and fulfilment and volunteers take away a great deal from the experience.”
A recent challenge completed in Cradley in the West Midlands, saw a team from Rok reroof part of Park Lane Chapel and others include revamping village halls and overhauling of nursery playgrounds to the painting of murals on subways.