Foundation Trainee Challenge: The Willmott Dixon Foundation Trainee Challenge gives a handful of our final year trainees the opportunity to lead a project from conception to completion.
Our management trainee, Marshall's challenge focussed on tackling homelessness amongst young people in Bristol, through fundraising. He led a team from our Wales & West office on a journey across the coast, to raise money to convert an empty property into 11 new apartments for homeless young people.
Our team are running a two-year-legacy project, East Street Mews, where they will be converting a derelict Bristol property into new apartments for homeless young people. East Street Mews is being delivered as part of a consortium with developer, Cubex, property industry charity, LandAid and local businesses. It is anticipated that the first resident will be able to move in and call East Street Mews home by 2021. Click here to find out more about this project.
Significant structural work is required to renovate the property, including demolition, a new roof and floors. However, the project has no budget. So, Marshall set about raising money to fund the labour and material to create these new homes, setting an ambitious target of £25,000.
To raise money, Marshall and a team of colleagues organised a 1,200 mile walk along the coastal path from Aberystwyth to Exeter. He broke down the route into 14 sections, averaging 78 miles each, calling on fellow trainees to help lead the movement.
It was up to individuals how they got their mileage in – many chose to run or cycle - some even kayaked across rivers to meet the target! Our people traversed coastal paths, mastered wild and rocky cliffs and managed to dodge a herd of angry cows, completing the challenge in 14 weeks. They also did their bit for the environment, taking on beach cleans along the way and raised awareness of mental well-being through exercise. So far, Marshall has raised an incredible £19,635.
Tom Chilcott, project surveyor, Willmott Dixon said:
“Travelling the coastal area throughout the Wales and the West, helping to clean up beaches and pollution from the sea, whilst visiting new and old projects completed by Willmott Dixon along the way is fantastic. It encouraged everyone to be more active and raised awareness for mental health which is bonus.”
Richard David, director designate, Willmott Dixon said:
“Massive credit to Marshall and the team for arranging this year’s trainee challenge. The logistics of moving, feeding and accommodating our people around our coastline is hugely complex and it is a testament to the teams’ planning skills that it ran so smoothly. I found it incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, which not only helped introduce me to new members of the team, but also allowed us to make a real difference to the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.”