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Willmott Dixon providing life skills with Lives Not Knives


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Lives Not Knives was founded by Eliza Rebeiro in 2007 as a campaign to make people aware of the dangers of knife crime. It has since moved towards supporting young people into education, employment and training.

LNK works with a broad range of young people up to the age of 24, as well as a great number of local businesses – forging the connection between young people and prospective employers. The charity aims to assist young people by developing their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals.

The LNK team comprises of highly motivated individuals with a passion for improving the life chances of young people and use their skills and experience with dedication and professionalism.

Willmott Dixon’s ambition this year was to create a route into construction for these young people, providing them with the skills, tools and support they need to make choices about their own futures. Building on the support from Willmott Dixon last year, LNK has delivered a new construction traineeship programme which prepares students for a career in construction. The programme raises their awareness of health and safety while introducing some basic technical knowledge, this is complemented by lessons to enhance English and maths skills along with essential pastoral care which can often be overlooked or undervalued.

Inspired by the management trainees journey, this programme was enriched with the addition of work experience placements delivered on a project for Chestnut Primary School project. Through this experience the first cohort of learners each achieved over 100 hours of work experience in a range of disciplines from plumbing to carpentry. The thing that makes this programme unique from other work experience delivered by Willmott Dixon is the individuals that have been referred to them. The majority of those on the programme are care leavers or refugees, their difficult circumstances so far in life have led some to be involved in the criminal justice system.

Willmott Dixon have helped change the lives of so many young people going forward

Monique Rebeiro, Director Lives Not Knives

Sarah Mills, Assistant Quantity Surveyor at Willmott Dixon who has led the project, supported by the rest of the Management Trainees recently hosted a graduation and celebratory lunch for the learners at Braithwaite Hall in Croydon. Here, learners were awarded a certificate for their achievement to date and the opportunity to meet with key people from Croydon Council and Willmott Dixon.

One of the most inspiring and humbling moments of the event was when the learners themselves spoke. Talking from their heart they shared just what the programme meant to them.

Watch the inspirational video to learn more.