Makeover for Ely fire station thanks to Sanctuary apprentices

Sanctuary apprentices answer call to help local fire station - Watch Commander Jim Sharpe, Sanctuary

Sanctuary apprentices answer call to help local fire station - Watch Commander Jim Sharpe, Sanctuary apprentices Adam Gutteridge, Kelvin Mamvura, Ben Cowles and firefighter Shaun MacColl at Ely Fire Station. - Credit: Archant

A team of apprentices gave their local fire station in Ely a “much-needed makeover” to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Sanctuary Group maintenance apprentices Kelvin Mamvura, Ben Cowles and Adam Gutteridge stepped away from their day jobs to help refurbish the boot room at Ely fire station.

During their three days at the fire station the apprentices, supervised by multi-trade operative Stuart Burrows, painted the walls and ceiling and sanded down and varnished benches.

The boot room is the first place crews enter at the start of their shift and is often on show to visitors and school groups during events and open days.

Phill Turner, Sanctuary’s regional operations manager for planned maintenance (East), said: “Each year during National Apprenticeship Week our apprentices volunteer their time to projects in our local community.

“This year we approached the fire service to see what we could do to say thank you for the service they provide every day to the residents of Cambridgeshire.

“This was a great opportunity for our apprentices to use the skills they have learned and, from the highly positive feedback we have received, it is clear they have done a fantastic job.”

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To mark the project, a plaque will be put up on the boot room wall.

Brett Mills, station commander for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We’d like to thank Sanctuary Group for stepping in and giving our boot room a much needed makeover.

“It was a pleasure to welcome three of their apprentices to Ely fire station. They all did a fantastic job and have made the area much more welcoming.”

Now in its 11th year, National Apprenticeship Week (which runs from March 5 to 9) is an annual event organised by the National Apprenticeship Service.

Sanctuary’s national apprenticeship programme has been running for 10 years, supporting over 1,600 young people into work - directly within Sanctuary and through development partners.

The programme gives apprentices a career path, on-the-job training, support in achieving nationally recognised qualifications and the opportunity to earn while they learn.

For more information about the apprenticeships that are available with Sanctuary Group visit