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Costain Skanska Volunteers Speak Volumes At Paddington

31 July 2012

Costain/Skanska joint venture commenced work to build the new Crossrail Station below Eastbourne Terrace in Paddington in February 2012.

In January this year it teamed up with Paddington Waterside Partnership (PWP) to draw up a community involvement package, supporting a range of local charities and schools.

Under the Crossrail ‘Community Investment Programme’ all of the major contractors constructing the new Crossrail tunnels and stations will develop similar schemes of local support, to create a lasting benefit in the communities in which they’re working.

April 2012 saw the first three reading volunteers from Costain/Skanska placed by PWP at local Hallfield Primary School, just ten minutes walk from their offices on Eastbourne Terrace. Each week the volunteers (the Community Relations Manager, a Civil Engineer and a Buyer) spend an hour reading with two pupils each, helping them to gain a greater interest in reading and lifting their confidence outside the busy classroom setting. Three more volunteers start next term.

James York, Community Relations Manager from Costain/Skanska said:

“Leaving the pressures of work for one hour a week and immersing myself in a whole new world, with children whose perspective and outlook on life is wholly innocent is extremely gratifying and gives a real sense of perspective. Being able to offer them time and real world experience that they wouldn’t have had otherwise is highly rewarding and something I would encourage others to make time and get involved.”

Not content with providing reading volunteers, Costain/Skanska is planning a facelift of the school’s toilets and washrooms over the summer holidays. Providing all the materials and labour a team of ten people will work solidly for two days to turn the dark rooms into modern, fresh and bright facilities.

Maria Martin, Business Manager at Hallfield Primary School said:

“The School is very grateful for the continued support these local volunteers give to our children and we are looking forward to this summer’s redecoration projects at Hallfield, thanks to the team at Costain/Skanska.”

Costain/Skanska has also been supporting local homeless charity, The Marylebone Project, hiring its meeting rooms and facilities for ‘off site’ training and planning days, rather than using hotel or conference venues, making a real impact by investing locally.

Its programme for the first year at Paddington also involves support to Paddington Academy’s ‘Science Academy’ scheme, with engineers giving careers talks to students at the nearby Academy.

Kay Buxton, Paddington Waterside Partnership’s Chief Executive, said:

“Costain/Skanska has really bitten the bullet at Paddington, rolling up their sleeves and getting involved with the local community at a number of different levels. This is genuine engagement, innovation and impact. We place an average of 500 volunteers each year with almost 60 local schools and charities. Costain/Skanska will be on board for seven years in Paddington, and we’re delighted that the team has already made such a difference in just a few months.”