South Devon College students save seafront shelters

(Last Updated On: June 21, 2019)

South Devon College, on Thursday 20th June, were proud to officially open two of the newly renovated seafront shelters they have been working on since January 2019.

Laurence Frewin, Vice Principal and Deputy CEO of South Devon College, was proud to stand by the construction team and students as Colin Hurst, Secretary of Paignton Town Community Partnership, cut the ribbon on the shelters and declared them open to the public.

Laurence said “This is a wonderful community project for both apprentices and full time students to be involved with. It has provided a range of new and valuable experiences for the construction students of South Devon College, offering opportunities for learning across multiple trades outside of the classroom or the apprentices’ usual day-to-day site work and with real added benefit for our local community. Everyone at the College is delighted to see our students have such pride in giving something back to their community and the positive impact that this project has had on many others in Paignton. I look forward to seeing these shelters being used again every day thanks to the dedication of our students and hardworking staff at South Devon College. I would also like to pay tribute and say thank you to all of the local businesses, employers and other partners who have played such an important part in making this project a success.”

The well-recognised Victorian shelters that run along Paignton seafront have seen much better days and needed a lot of repairs to keep them standing. Led by Jonny Standing, Programme Coordinator in Woodwork, the first year carpentry apprentices have been out renovating these shelters and have been working hard to restore them to their former glory. This has been a collective effort across the Construction department at the College with students from Painting and Decorating and Roofing courses also working hard on the project.

Repairs were carried out to try and keep as much of the original materials safely in place. But for where extra was needed to get the job done, the community have pulled together to make this possible and support our students; with donations of K-Glass for the windows, roofing supplies from Supa Roofing & Power Tools Ltd, building supplies from Inter-Line Building Supplies Ltd, Torbay Council and hotels providing free parking, Bays Brewery Ltd offering free drinks, and an individual even donated a chopsaw who goes by the name ‘Dave’.

Adrian Brady, Depot Manager at Inter-Line, got in touch to talk about the interactions they’ve had with the College over the course of this project. “We have been dealing closely with Colin from Paignton Town & Community Projects and Jonny Standing from South Devon College and supplying the materials requested. I think it is a very innovative approach and gives the students an insight as to what they would be doing when they get out to work in the big wide world. Interline have a very close relationship with South Devon College and it is important to that we supply a service to the College. Interline support all the Open Days and have recently donated t-shirts for the team there. We also support work experience here at Inter-Line so students can learn about the supply side of the industry and the different materials used on a day to day basis.”

Jonny Standing who is leading the work on-site said “All of the students are working excellently on this as a team. What’s great is that everyone has taken to this opportunity with a genuine desire to make a good change in the community and do some real-world practical work that supports their studies. All of this work we are doing links into their unit on maintenance in their courses and follows the curriculum already in place, with all of this work being valid evidence for their assessments throughout their studies. I couldn’t be more proud of the way the students have worked and conducted themselves with this project and are true assets to the College.”

The recognition this service is getting is well deserved and all members of the community are looking forward to seeing the remainder of the shelters restored to their former glory over the next year.

If you’re interested in studying a course or apprenticeship in construction, go to for more information, email, or call South Devon College on 08000 380 123.

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