Women help refurbish rape crisis centre

Published on 16 June 2016

WOMEN from the city council’s craft services team have helped to refurbish a rape crisis centre in Leicester.

Women who are on, or have graduated from, craft apprenticeship schemes at Leicester City Council volunteered to help upgrade the premises at Jasmine House in their free time.

The city council’s craft apprenticeships train people in trades such as gas engineering, joinery, bricklaying, plumbing and electrics. They can also learn skills including plastering, painting and decorating.

Each year, the city council runs a ‘Women in Construction’ taster course, aimed at informing women about the apprenticeship opportunities, as women are under-represented in these professions.

Lynda York, operations manager at Jasmine House, which is a charity, said: “Our building was in a poor state of repair before the apprentices came to help us out. The décor was dated, the plaster was crumbling and the boiler was old and inefficient.

“Builders’ suppliers Jewson gave us materials for free, and the women from the council’s craft services team said they would provide their labour for free as well.

“This is fantastic for us, because it means we’ve been able to get a much-needed refurbishment while focusing our resources on the women we need to help. We’re very grateful to Jewson and the city council for kindly donating these materials and their time.”

Tina Jivraj, apprenticeship development assistant at Leicester City Council said: “We were really happy to help out for such a worthy cause. A team of 15 volunteers had four days to complete the project and during this time we ripped out and boarded floors for new ceilings, plastered and painted rooms, carried out electrical works and fitted a new boiler, which was kindly donated by Worcester.

“Three male colleagues helped us with some of the plastering, but apart from that all of the work was carried out by women.”

Cllr Sue Waddington, assistant city mayor responsible for jobs and skills, said: “Our craft apprenticeship scheme is very popular, taking on around 15 new apprentices each year.

“I’m really pleased that our apprentices and technicians have chosen to put their skills to such good use in their spare time. Their commitment and enthusiasm does them great credit.”

Cllr Andy Connelly, assistant city mayor responsible for housing, said: “Our craft services team does important work maintaining the standard of our housing stock. I’d like to congratulate them on such a successful project – it’s a great example of the professional way in which the team works on a daily basis.”

To find out more about the Women In Construction scheme, go to leicester.gov.uk and search ‘women in construction’.

The local sexual and domestic violence helpline for information and support is 0808 80 200 28. Information is also available online at www.uava.org.uk

(ends)