Students give up holiday to help abuse victims

Project Innovation students with (l-r) Innovation Lecturer  David Scott,  Sasha Bennet of Monklands Women's Aid and  Curriculum Quality Leader in Construction Les Scott.
Project Innovation students with (l-r) Innovation Lecturer David Scott, Sasha Bennet of Monklands Women's Aid and Curriculum Quality Leader in Construction Les Scott.
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Students from New College Lanarkshire skipped their October week break to take part in a charitable project, Project Innovation, for a local domestic abuse charity.

Fifteen students from the Second Chance Construction course at the college’s Motherwell campus constructed several pieces of furniture for Monklands Women’s Aid refuge homes.

As part of Project Innovation, the students helped to build up flat-pack wardrobes, drawers, storage units and bedside cabinets to furnish seven of the charity’s refuges, to ensure they remain maintained, comfortable and safe for those in need.

Project leader and innovation lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, David Scott, said: “The project provided the vital support needed for Monklands Women’s Aid, while giving the students the opportunity to undertake real-life, practical construction.

“It gave students a sense of moral pride and achievement through assisting members of the local community towards a better future.

“Project Innovation will also be a valuable contribution to their CVs, showing that the students have both the necessary practical and communication skills for further employment.”

Project Innovation supports the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy for developing the young workforce

Project Innovation student Anthony Hamilton (16) added: “I am delighted to be part of the Project Innovation team as it’s a great project that gives us the chance to help out an amazing charity in the local community.

“It also gives us experience of working for real-life clients and towards a deadline, and I hope that the experience will be of great benefit to my future career.”

Provided by Monklands Women’s Aid, refuge homes are safe and temporary accommodation providing support and comfort to women and children from across North Lanarkshire.

The charity also actively campaigns to raise awareness of the issue and support other domestic and sexual abuse services throughout the area.

Sasha Bennett said: “Domestic abuse can affect anyone, it could be a family member, a friend or even yourself. We support women and children who have or are experiencing domestic abuse and work tirelessly to end such abuse.

“If you can imagine having to flee your home and leave all of your belongings behind, this is exactly what happens in a lot of cases so we try to make our refuges (safe houses) as comfortable and homely as possible, a ‘home from home’.

“We were lucky enough to receive funding from Children In Need which we used to purchase the furniture and in turn, New College Lanarkshire students have donated their own time to construct this for us.

“On behalf of Monklands Women’s Aid I would like to say a massive thank you to David Scott for approaching our charity, a special thank you to the students and everyone else involved in this project.”

Monklands Women’s Aid can be contacted 24/7 on 01236 432061.