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Engineers team up with Derventio to raise aspirations of local people

A local engineering company has reached out to offer a helping hand to people who have been through tough times in their lives.

Faithful + Gould, a global development consultancy specialising in the built environment, which has a staff of more than 2,400 people worldwide, offices in every continent and East Midlands bases in Nottingham, Birmingham and Derby, teamed up with Derventio Housing Trust to raise the aspirations of people who face barriers and tough challenges in life.

Derventio offers accommodation and support to people who have recently been made homeless as well as specialist projects in health, employability and personal development. Working strategically with partners – a dozen local authorities, funders, and other not-for-profits – we help more than 1,100 people each year by offering housing, support and specialist projects in order that they improve their health and wellbeing, increase resilience and prepare for independent living, learning and employment.

Faithful + Gould teamed up with Derventio to raise the aspirations of people who are supported through two of our projects.

Participants in Derventio Housing Trust’s Building Better Opportunities programmes – funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund – were welcomed to Faithful + Gould’s Nottingham office to take part in a skills workshop day.

Participants took part in valuable sessions including a CV workshop, training for interviews and other teamwork and skills building activities.

A second group from Derventio’s personal development project, Growing Lives, have also been invited to the engineering company’s Birmingham office.

Based in Ilkeston, both projects aim to help people to move forward in life, including signposting people towards new routes into employment or volunteering. Many of those we work with face a range of problems including poor mental health, isolation from family and issues with substance use.

Jackie Carpenter, assistant director of strategy at Derventio, said:

It was an amazing day, and the people who came had a peep into a world they never usually see. Finding out what the company does, and how many projects they are involved in, opened people’s eyes. Being welcomed into Faithful + Gould’s offices, and meeting the engineers, gave people such a confidence boost.

The activities that the team had laid on were really fun, and while people were enjoying working on the engineering challenges they were set – like how to get an egg safely down from a great height by parachute – they were learning valuable skills like teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving.

The engineers gave everyone a real insight into their world, and it was a truly inspirational day.

Dan Heffernan, Social Value lead for Faithful + Gould, said:

At Faithful+Gould it’s very important to us that we have a real, tangible impact on the communities we serve. We were very excited to meet the team from Derventio and find out all about the great work they do in helping people turn their lives around from some extremely challenging situations, and get them back on their feet, in touch with families again, and often back in the workplace too.

As a global business, with our local communities at our heart, we want to be able to pass on some of the knowledge and expertise we have gathered over 75 years of running our business, to those within our communities who really need it. That’s why we are very pleased and proud to be partnering with such a worthwhile organisation and reaching out to people who really need us.

The day of workshops at our Nottingham offices went brilliantly and I hope that those who came from Derventio were able to take away some valuable skills from it too. We look forward to working with them again.

Here at Faithful + Gould we put a lot of time and energy into our social value schemes, such as the work we are doing with Derventio. Companies who would like to find out more about what we offer to local communities are welcome to get in touch.

Earlier this year, Faithful+Gould launched a new advisory service aimed at helping organisations develop clear social value programmes on built environment projects and, crucially, ensuring delivery of those commitments. In order to roll out the service the firm invested in the expansion of its social value team, establishing regional leads in each of the key areas of the UK to liaise with clients and support their social value commitments.