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Gentoo and Leazes Homes teach youngsters site safety

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Gentoo and Leazes Homes teach youngsters site safety

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Published by LauraMcKinlay for Gentoo Group in Education and also in Care and Support, Communities, Environment, Housing

School visit School visit

Safety conscious schoolchildren donned their hardhats to explore a Leazes Homes housing development while learning about the importance of staying safe on a building site.

The pupils fromStocksfieldAvenuePrimary SchoolinNewcastlewere invited to visit Leazes Homes’ Calderstone development – formerlyCypress Avenue– to get an insight into the world of urban planning and construction.

Leazes Homes and Gentoo are working in partnership to redevelop the site in Fenham,Newcastle, which will provide 57 new homes with 15 affordable rental properties and 42 houses available for private sale.

The youngsters – who were aged between nine and 10 – learnt about everything from site safety and energy efficiency to planning and design during the one-day trip.

A total of 60 children were welcomed at the Calderstone development, with their activities split between a classroom session and an on-site session.

Half the group spent the morning in the classroom where they learnt about how housing estates are designed and built as well as coming up with ideas of what they would have in an estate if they were designing it.

Meanwhile, the other schoolchildren were taken on a tour of the site where, following a safety induction, they were able to see the inner workings of a building site. The two groups then swapped over during the afternoon.

Sharon Freed, Investment Delivery Manager at YHN, said: “We invited the children from Stocksfield Avenue Primary School to the Calderstone development to offer them a view into a world that they might not normally be exposed to and, by working with their teachers, we were able to educate them in a number of key areas including health and safety, construction and energy efficiency.

“It was inspiring to see the youngsters engaging with both the classroom and site-based activities on the day and we hope that the experience has been one that they will remember.”

The children wrote ‘Thank You’ letters to Leazes Homes and Gentoo staff which saw them describe the day as “amazing” and a “wonderful experience”.

Barry Walker, Managing Director at Gentoo Homes, said: “We really enjoyed the day with the pupils and have had lots of lovely feedback. Not only did the pupils learn a lot about health and safety, they taught us a thing or two and gave our team lots of inspiring ideas for new developments. It was a fun day and we look forward to working with Leazes on similar projects.”

Angela McEnaney, Deputy Head at Stocksfield Avenue Primary, said: “The children and staff loved their day, and it is certainly something we would like to repeat in future.

“It worked really well, and the mixture of design in school and a visit to the building site made it real for the children. They felt like architects and found it really interesting seeing shells of houses in all the various stages of development. It always makes the activity more relevant to the children when they are working with professionals in real life scenarios as it gives their learning a purpose.”

The Calderstone development will provide a range of bungalows as well as two, three and four bed homes. The scheme design is in keeping with the neighbourhood and includes modern terraced, semi-detached and detached homes.

Completion of the whole development is expected by Spring 2016.

Prior to the development, the site was occupied by offices and a converted former school building which were used as council offices and a depot, until being demolished in 2011.

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