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Students at Walsall College are taking on a major refurbishment to benefit the congregation and visitors to a West Bromwich church.

Phase one of the project is now underway at Ryders Green Methodist Church and Day Centre.  Over nine weeks the Level 2 multi-skills students will be plaster patching and repainting walls and the ceiling in the day centre area and refitting doors.

College students will then complete further work on the 100-year-old building over the next 12 months.  This will include repairing a ceiling apex and beams and fixing loose and broken tiling in the centre’s kitchen area.

“This project is providing students with an invaluable ‘real world’ learning opportunity,” said Nathan Hartshorne, Curriculum Delivery Manager.

“The size and scope of a renovation such as this could never be emulated within the college. We are fortunate to be able to help students further develop skills and behaviours such as problem solving, critical thinking, self-confidence and resilience through this refurbishment work.  It is an experience that will not only positively influence the future of our students, it will also benefit the centre users and wider community alike.”

Alex Cooksey, Day Centre Manager and Church Treasurer added: “The work being carried out by the students will have a tremendous impact on the way the centre is used going forwards.

“As with many churches, there is a lack of resources available for full building maintenance.  Thanks to the college students and staff team, we are able to complete many repair and restoration tasks without this impacting on the community services we provide here.

“People are already noticing the difference the students have made to the centre, so they should be proud of their hard work and the positive difference they are making here.”