Lovell helps Bridgend students go into business with car valeting scheme

31st, October

Students at Heronsbridge School in Bridgend are set to get a new car valeting business off the ground with help from Lovell.

Sixteen- to nineteen-year-old students at the special school, which caters for a wide range of learning needs, will launch the service using equipment funded by an £875 donation from Lovell. Lovell is currently building new homes for Hafod close to the school.

Welcoming the donation from Lovell are, back row, Heronsbridge students, left to right, Joseph Cowan, Joel Williams-Jones, Poppy Maclean and Callum Lock. Front row, left to right, Hafod community development officer Bill Daniel, Lovell community co-ordinator Bernadette Vickery, Heronsbridge School work-based learning instructor Mandy Taylor and Heronsbridge head teacher Jeremy Evans.

By working in and running the car valeting business, based in the school grounds, Heronsbridge students will improve their employability skills and gain valuable work experience. They will be involved in all aspects of the business from dealing with customers, managing money and operating the cleaning service to looking after health and safety. Initially, the service will be open to the school’s 180 staff and visitors but it may also be made available to the wider public in the future. The school hopes to launch the new valeting business in January 2018.

“Students will help run the business for two days a week,” says Heronsbridge School’s work-based learning instructor Mandy Taylor. “It will enable them to really build up their experience of the world of work and help them as they move towards employment.  We’re very grateful for this support from Lovell which has been extremely important, covering our initial set-up costs.”

Students at the school already help run Heronsbridge’s popular Blas Da coffee shop social enterprise which was launched 12 years ago.

“As a company, we aim to help worthwhile community organisations where we can,” says Lovell community co-ordinator Bernadette Vickery. “It’s been great to provide Heronsbridge with the funding needed to get the car valeting service up and running. The project follows on from impressive success of the school’s coffee shop scheme and will provide a new set of opportunities for students to develop their skills and improve their job prospects.”

Lovell community co-ordinator Bernadette Vickery in the school’s student-run coffee shop. Left to right, Bernadette Vickery, students Joel Williams-Jones and Joseph Cowan with Heronsbridge School work-based learning instructor Mandy Taylor.

“This donation is just one example of the many ways in which the local community will benefit from our partnership with Lovell to develop new homes in the area,” comments Hafod community development officer Bill Daniel. “The school are clearly doing a great job of preparing their pupils for future employment and we wish them every success with this new initiative.”

Lovell has just begun work on 48 social rented homes for Hafod on land off Coychurch Road, close to the centre of Bridgend. Other community benefits set to be created by Lovell through the scheme will include apprenticeships, jobs and work experience placements.