Eleven apprentices and students are refurbishing Element Society’s Leopold Street premises as part of a coursework project to develop their industry skills.
The group, who are completing the City and Guilds Painting and Decorating Level 2 Diploma, are based at the premises twice a week under the supervision of their college lecturers.
For the rest of their course, they are completing their studies at the College’s City campus on Granville Road.
Andrew Biggin, Painting and Decorating Lecturer, The Sheffield College, said: “This is a great project for our students because of the size of the building and amount of wall space to refurbish.
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“They’re really enjoying being out of the classroom and working on a real life project and client’s brief.
“This experience is developing their teamwork and professional skills and it will help them go further in employment. It’s fantastic that they are also giving something back to the community – it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Element Society is a local charity that works with young people and specialises in social action projects. Renovation of the empty building, which has 22 rooms over four floors, is expected to run until the summer.
Student Laura Lockley, aged 34, is a mother-of-three, who has decided to turn her flair for DIY into a career.
She said: “It’s the best decision I could have made studying at the college. I wanted to learn a trade and my long-term ambition is to set up my own business.”
“I’m enjoying being involved in this project because it is for a good cause.”