Construction students build shower block for Sharpham's woodland campsite
Published: 12 July 2017
Future builders from South Devon College have tried out their new skills by creating a brand new toilet and shower block for the mindfulness and nature charity The Sharpham Trust.
Carpentry and construction students from South Devon College worked to real goals and deadlines to build the timber-framed block in spring this year.
The new building has been clad in larch and cedar wood - grown and milled on the Sharpham Estate.
Now the loos and showers are being used by people staying on retreat in Sharpham’s woodland and the Trust is delighted with the results.
“It's turned out brilliantly...It's turned out better that we hoped,” said Trust Director Julian Carnell.
“I like the fact that as well as the charity benefiting by getting a building at the end, the students are benefiting from the learning that they get through the process of building - in this case a shower and toilet block.
Jonny Standing, Programme Coordinator for South Devon College’s construction and carpentry section, said that working on a real project was important for students to get a feel for the world of employment.
“It's absolutely vital that the students work on real projects, especially the full-time learners. It enables them to go to job interviews with photos and examples of what they've already done and it gives them the vital work experience that they need to get a job.
“I'm really impressed with all the students and all the staff...who came together to create such an amazing building. It's always a pleasure to see the learners' faces as [the project] nears completion and that they've actually added value to their local community."
The shower block is nestled amongst the trees in the grounds of Sharpham House – a Grade 1-listed Georgian mansion at the centre of the 550-acre Sharpham Estate, near Totnes.
People come to stay in the House and in furnished bell-tents in the woodland to participate in mindfulness and meditation retreats run by The Sharpham Trust. Now campsite guests don’t have to head to the House to wash, thanks to the students’ work.
The project linked full-time Level 1, second-year apprentices and Brick Lane students from South Devon College with Swedish ERASMUS students who came on an exchange programme.