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Nescot’s Carpentry and Joinery students are working on two community projects as a way of combining all the skills they’ve learnt this year.

One Level 1 group has built a bench to be used by firefighters at Epsom fire station, while the other is making five planters shaped as wheelbarrows for Banstead Village in Bloom.

“The students feel really motivated by being able to use what they’ve learnt to create something positive for the community,” said Jim Murphy, Head of Construction.

“They’re proud of what they’ve made, and we’re impressed with their standard of work and with the care and attention they’ve put into the project.”

The picnic bench is made of pine and will be delivered to the fire station on Church Street in May. The crews will show the students around the premises to thank them for their work.

The five planters, which are also made of pine, will be placed at the roundabout and at either end of the High Street. Each will be sponsored by a local school as part of Banstead Village in Bloom.

The village won silver for its inaugural entry into Britain in Bloom last year. The theme for this year’s entry is red, white and blue, to mark the centenary of the First World War, and judging will be in July.

Student Graham Sparkes was part of the team who made the picnic bench, and said it had taken two days to construct.

“I’m really glad it’s going to be used,” he said. “Firefighters do a lot to help people, so it’s nice to be able to make something that’s useful for them.

“We’ve learnt a lot this year about the materials and the tools and the different joints, and it’s good to see that come together in a real project.”

Student Charlie Jeffrey is working on the planters, and said he has enjoyed being part of a team. “I was doing the 45-degree cuts using the chop saw,” he added.

“It’s been good practice and I’ve learnt a lot. You have to have a good work ethic because other people are relying on you. It’s been the best part of the year so far.”

Frances Rutter, CEO and Principal at Nescot, praised the students and staff involved.

“Jim and the Construction team work hard to build partnerships that give our students the opportunity to use the skills they’ve learnt here in ways that will benefit the community,” she said.

“This is a great example of how we give our students ‘real’ projects, and I’m proud of how hard our students have worked and how well they’ve been supported.”