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Jack Tyrrell spearheads new bricklaying scheme for youngsters at Long Sutton Men's Shed facilities



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Enthusiastic youngsters picked up their trowels as they kicked off a new scheme in hard-working style.

Volunteers at Long Sutton Men’s Shed have been inspired to get a new generation of children involved with their activities.

Jack Tyrrell, who owns the group’s facilities at the Silverwood Centre, spearheaded a project which saw six University Academy Long Sutton students try their hand at bricklaying on Thursday.

Jack Tyrrell (back row, far left) with youngsters trying their hand at bricklaying (56372643)
Jack Tyrrell (back row, far left) with youngsters trying their hand at bricklaying (56372643)

Working with construction companies D Brown Builders and Buildbase Spalding, they will spend a month laying bricks before learning carpentry and electrician skills.

After ten weeks, the kids will travel to a building site to put their new knowledge to the test.

“There’s a couple of them in there who you can tell have come from a building background,” Mr Tyrrell said.

Charlie Woods and Rhylee Mountney were among the six students at the Mens Shed (56372646)
Charlie Woods and Rhylee Mountney were among the six students at the Mens Shed (56372646)

“They’ve probably been shown by their grandad, which you can tell by the way they move.”

Mr Tyrrell hopes his new campaign will help to plug some gaps in specific industries in the Long Sutton area.

He believes that by getting youngsters involved at the age of 11, they will be more likely to maintain interest in the respective fields as they grow up.

“We’re lacking in trade, particularly in the building trade. We’re short of bricklayers, we’re short of plumbers and electricians,” he said.

Jack Tyrrell shows University Academy Long Sutton youngster Theo Veal the ropes (56372640)
Jack Tyrrell shows University Academy Long Sutton youngster Theo Veal the ropes (56372640)

“The idea is to get them at 11 while they’re still playing with Lego and all the rest of it, get them interested and hopefully some of it might stick.

“Out of six kids, you might have one that comes out of it.”

That won’t be the only aim of the new scheme, according to Mr Tyrrell.

He also hopes it can bring members of the community from different generations together through a common interest.

“The idea is that when there’s an old man going to get his paper and it’s dark and he sees a gang of kids outside, he’ll know one of them,” he said.

“It’s a bit of respect. A lot of us are grandads, so hopefully they treat us like their own grandads.”

Jacqui Gilman, careers advisor at University Academy Long Sutton, said: “There are students who don’t necessarily academically thrive, and obviously it’s to give them a sense of achievement but in a different way.

Buildbase Spalding’s Jamie Parrish and Danny Wild of D Brown Builders were also in attendance at the opening event. They believe more has to be done to get young children involved in the construction industry, and said Mr Tyrrell’s scheme was an excellent start.



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