Wessex region supports construction apprentices with College donation

20 June 2024

Abingdon and Witney College

Wessex region has donated £2,000 to Abingdon and Witney College.

Persimmon Homes Wessex presented the cheque, funded through its Community Champions scheme, as part of its Community and Employment Plan commitments for the Valley Park development, at the College’s Witney campus.

The money will go towards helping the college fund its teaching programme – future plumbers, carpenters, and electricians are trained in workshops at both campuses, equipping young people with valuable skills for jobs in the area.

Abingdon & Witney College first opened the Witney Construction Skills Centre in 2015, and student numbers have grown considerably since then. In the last five years the College has also opened its Bicester Construction Skills Centre, in 2020, and a Green Construction Skills Centre at the Abingdon Campus in 2022.

Persimmon is one of the developers behind the Valley Park scheme between Didcot and Harwell, which secured outline planning permission in 2022 and will see up to 4,254 homes built for local people once completed.

These will be accompanied by mixed use local centres, schools, sports pitches, community and leisure facilities, open space and extensive green infrastructure, hard and soft landscaping, attenuation areas, diversions to public rights of way, and pedestrian and vehicular access.

It follows news that Persimmon recently submitted a planning application for the next phase of 151 high-quality homes at the development. It is already on site delivering on its first phase of 172 properties, which will help meet housing need in the area. All of these are no-gas, zero carbon-ready homes, equipped with air source heat pumps, electric vehicle charging points, and solar panels.

Persimmons Community Champions programme sees £700,000 donated each year to good causes and much-valued organisations across Britain. Recent local recipients include Sustainable Wantage, Oxford Food Hub, and Wantage Literary Festival.

Persimmon was also a proud sponsor of the 2024 Oxfordshire Careers Festival at the Kassam Stadium, and recently attended a careers day at Didcot Girls’ School.

Commenting, Persimmon Homes Wessex Sales Director Pauline Fletcher, said:

“As a major developer in Oxfordshire, from Witney to Wantage to Didcot, Persimmon is proud to support educational establishments who train future generations towards fulfilling and valuable careers, including those in the housebuilding industry.

“As part of our Community and Employment Plan for our major Valley Park development, we’ve been undertaking important work in improving opportunities for young people in the area. This has taken the form of attending career days to charitable donations to support young people at key educational establishments such as Abingdon and Witney College.

“We believe this demonstrates Persimmon’s dedication to leaving a positive and lasting legacy in the areas in which we build, which could easily house students of the college in the future as well as provide them with exciting future work opportunities in the local area.”

Commenting on the donation, Roger Westall, Construction Curriculum Manager at Witney Campus, said

“Persimmon Homes is actively engaging with local schools and colleges to support them by donating money that can be used towards Construction in any way they see fit. It could help with transport to the College for students, specific tools, or educational material.

“We have greatly received the donation of £2,000 and I am sure it will be put to good use of the coming months.”

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