Buildbase has donated building materials and tools to the ‘Curriculum Construction Project’ at the National Autistic Society’s Anderson School in Chigwell.
Sponsored and run by the Anderson Foundation, the project is aimed at giving the school’s students a taster of work in the construction industry.
Father and son duo Steve and Andy Hammond, who form part of the training team at the Chelmsford-based Anderson Group, have been fitting out purpose-built workshops in the school so that six students at a time can have their own uninterrupted work area.
There are also individual tool boxes for each student all of which, along with all the building materials, have been supplied free of charge by Buildbase.
Students will learn about site and tool handling safety, the basics of painting and decorating, brickwork and tiling. Rotating through the upper years of the school, all students in years 8, 9 and 10 will spend half a term working on these projects. The plan is that this taster will inspire students to pursue apprenticeships or employment within the construction industry.
The National Autistic Society has been providing specialist education to children and young people on the autism spectrum for over 50 years. The charity currently runs eight schools, including the Anderson School which opened in September 2017 and which will eventually cater for up to 128 autistic students aged 11 to 19.
Just 16% of autistic adults are estimated to be in full-time paid employment. The school is trying to address this by preparing students for life, further education and employment through tailored support, academic qualifications, vocational courses, including projects like this construction one.
Every autistic child is different, and many become overwhelmed in school – by things like bright lights, loud noises or other children’s unpredictable behaviour. But the right support at the right time can make all the difference. Some children on the autistic spectrum are able to excel in mainstream schools while others require extensive support in specialist settings, such as the National Autistic Society’s Anderson School.
Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “This is one of a number of projects we’re hoping to launch to give our students experience of careers in different industries. It highlights how partnerships between charities and generous organisations like the Anderson Group and Buildbase can benefit young people on the autism spectrum. We really appreciate their support.”