Willmott Dixon Interiors’ green-focused trainee challenge has been honoured at this year’s London Construction Awards.
‘The Power of Green’, which focused on creating accessible green spaces for local communities, has won the Excellence in Community Engagement award at a glittering ceremony in London.
The challenge was led by assistant design coordinator, Abi Inskip, who managed a team of 18 trainees tasked with investing in environmentally sustainable projects in London’s Waltham Forest and Alum Rock in Birmingham. Projects were also designed to educate people on the importance of accessibility and inclusion within the built environment.
Above: Abi Inskip with the London Construction Award
Abi has since led the roll out of our Building Green legacy programme, continuing an investment in the creation of accessible green spaces. Building Green is split into two branches: Building Green Lives, working in schools, universities, community centres and youth clubs to promote the construction industry and green skills; and Building Green Spaces, working alongside project delivery teams to create accessible outdoor community spaces.
Abi said: “It was a true privilege to lead the trainee challenge and make such an impact on multiple communities. It was amazing to see the transformation we made to the spaces and I’m proud to be continuing the legacy of this initiative with the Building Green programme.”
Bev Williams, director and responsible for trainees, Willmott Dixon Interiors, added: “We are hugely proud that our fantastic trainee challenge has been recognised and are incredibly proud of Abi and the efforts of our trainees in investing into local communities.”
Above: Our trainees and team that were involved in the project collecting the award
‘The Power of Green’ – a snapshot of our award-winning trainee challenge projects:
- Project Zero – a centre supporting reduction in violent crime, working with local young and unemployed people, and refugees. We engaged in careers fairs, decorated a previously empty car park on site, and painted brick walls ready for a local artist to create a mural. We also added planters and benches for visitors who can now use the previously disused bus for internet access for activities such as access to the debt service, job applications or arranging visas. Internally, we decorated a room which will be used to host sessions on sexual and mental wellbeing, drugs/alcohol awareness, and first aid. We continue to work with Project Zero on a new programme to improve racial equality within the construction industry and promote careers to the next generation.
King Charles and Queen Camilla are pictured in the internal room we decorated during a recent visit.
Above: Internal room our trainees decorated
- Langthorne Park – a pavilion run by the E17 toy library which helps low and supported-income families. We cleaned the amphitheatre and added planters to the outdoor area for growing fruit and vegetables. The kitchen area was also refurbished, allowing the delivery of cookery classes and supporting the charity’s aspiration of running a café to increase revenue.
Old kitchen appliances were shipped to Uganda to support a small family restaurant.
Above: Our trainees at Langthorne Park
- Lime Academy – a special educational needs school for ages 4-18. We transformed a large unusable open space into a school farm containing animal enclosures, over 35 planters, 6 bug hotels and a large sensory garden with level flooring. It provides outside space for many students who do not otherwise have access to a garden and/or family pets and allows for the curriculum to include agriculture lessons for students.
Above: The large field our trainees transformed into a school farm
- Norton Hall – a community centre with a nursery facility that supports local young people including young mothers and those with special educational needs and disabilities.
We transformed the centre’s previously unusable, overgrown outdoor space into a memorial garden, with a quiet area for reflection and downtime. We also added benches and planters, removed undergrowth and cleaned graffiti, as well as delivering an associated landscape design competition for undergraduate students at Birmingham City University.
Above: Norton Hall’s memorial garden