A SHELTERED scheme has been spruced up having been chosen as a project for a team of unemployed 16 to 25 year-olds from across the area.

Leverett Close in Altrincham was chosen as the community project for the Prince’s Trust Team Programme initiative delivered by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

The team programme is a 12-week personal development course, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

The team members advertised for community-based projects in the Trafford area where they could help out and develop new skills. Scheme manager Sarah Bradbury responded to the advert and the young people chose Leverett Court, which is owned and managed by Trafford Housing Trust.

The team of six spent six days over two weeks decorating the internal brick corridors of the sheltered accommodation to brighten up the facilities for the 38 residents who live there.

They hope the experience will help them learn new skills that will get them into employment or further education.

Tony Lowry, assistant director, neighbourhoods, at Trafford Housing Trust said: “I visited the project at Leverett and found it to be both uplifting and inspiring. It was great to know that young people are interested in improving the environment for older people and enjoying the experience.

“Indeed, we have been so impressed that we have offered a two week work placement to 17-year-old Jack Hall with our Youth Team, after he had expressed an interested in working with young people.”

The aim is to build up the team’s confidence and get them used to the working environment.

Michael Ward, aged 23, who is on the team programme, said: “It’s been a really good experience and it’s been nice to do a project that has been so worthwhile. I had done a little bit of painting and decorating before, but not as much as this. I’ve been out of work for five months after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University. I hope taking part in the team programme will help me find future employment. It’s definitely given me more confidence.”

Greater Manchester Fire Service delivers the Prince’s Trust Team Programme in the Trafford area from its base at Sale West Youth Centre. Team Leader Lauren Garner said: “The young people have really enjoyed their time at Leverett Court and they selected this as the community project where they wanted to work.

“We have established great links with Trafford Housing Trust which we hope to further develop in the future and it’s fantastic that Jack has gained a work placement as a result of the work he has done here.

“We run three team programmes a year and the next intake are going to come back to Leverett Court and fishing off painting the remainder of the hall ways.”