FIVE graduate trainees at national housebuilder Redrow Homes recently spent three days refurbishing accommodation at Cardiff’s University Hospital for the LATCH Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity.
Despite being based in different offices around the country, Conor Roberts, Mathew Tudor Owen, Gregory Allsop, Chris Glover and Tom Pearson worked together to transform one bedroom, two lounges and a boardroom at the hospital.
Completing a community-based project forms part of the group’s 15-month training programme with Redrow Homes, which finishes this December.
The graduates had to complete the project without any budget, relying instead on their negotiation skills to source everything from furniture and paint rollers to carpets and transport.
The trainees also sourced help and supplies from Redrow’s other divisions around the country, with Redrow (South Midlands) and Redrow (South Wales) donating furniture that had previously been used in their show homes, and providing office furniture for the boardroom. Redrow’s Group Head Office in Ewloe, North Wales gave two boardroom side boards.
LATCH is one of Wales’ leading children’s cancer charities, and provides patients at the Children’s Hospital for Wales and their families with much-needed medical, social and welfare support.
Conor Roberts, 24, joined Redrow (South Wales) as a graduate trainee in September 2012 and is based at the divisional head office in Cardiff. Conor said: “While we had all met during group training sessions, this was our first opportunity to work together on a hands-on project. We had four weeks to plan the project; firstly identifying everything we would need and then approaching suppliers and contacts who could provide it. This was most challenging aspect of the project, particularly as we are based in different offices across England and Wales.
“We had to think on our feet and draw on the wide range of skills we have developed over the course of the Redrow training scheme. While negotiation and communication were vital, we also learnt to be flexible, manage our time and to work effectively to a tight deadline and as part of a team.
“We are very proud to have successfully completed the project without any budget, and seeing the impact of the finished accommodation on the children and families at LATCH was incredibly rewarding.”
The other graduates are based at Redrow’s divisional offices around the country with Chris Glover, based at Basildon, in Essex, Greg Allsop at Bristol, Tom Pearson at London and Mathew Tudor-Owen at Ewloe in Flintshire.
Karen Jones, HR director for Redrow Homes, said: “Our graduate trainees have once again shown a strong commitment to helping their local communities with this project. They had to draw on many of the skills they have learnt during our graduate training scheme, such as time management, communication and team working, particularly as they are all based in different offices.
“It’s also honed their negotiation skills as they have been dealing with a variety of contractors and suppliers. We are thrilled the project has been such a success and the experience will stand our graduates in good stead as they look to continue their future careers.
“We are also delighted to support the vital work LATCH are undertaking in the community.”
Denise Henderson, general manager of LATCH, said: “Over the years, hundreds of families have benefitted from using the LATCH accommodation suite but this has taken its toll on the facilities. As well as general wear and tear, the décor is now looking a bit tired and dated, so we really jumped at the opportunity of having Redrow help us with this project.
“The results are amazing: the newly redecorated and refurbished rooms have the “WOW” factor. The graduate team really excelled themselves and sourced some amazing pieces of furniture. We are extremely grateful for their involvement in this project.”
Redrow would like to thank the following suppliers involved in the project: Dulux, Just Carpets, JJ Lee, TJ Services UK Ltd, Gower Blinds, Show Business Interiors, Be U Interiors, New Tredegar Skips, British Gypsum, CCF Cardiff, AJ Plumbers, J2, USP Creative, Hatters, Parkers Merchandising and Enterprise car rentals.
Redrow builds around 2,500 homes every year across England and Wales. For more information visit www.redrow.co.uk.