A West Ashby company that helps train young people into the construction industry is looking to launch a scheme where trainees can help rebuild earthquake-hit Nepal.
This Friday (June 19), Chris Jones, managing director of the Build-a-Future Training Centre and his 19-year-old son Lewis fly out to Kathmandu to see how they can provide such support.
The pair are working with the Lincs2Nepal charity and after a 25-hour journey will be picked up at the airport by its Horncastle-based trustee Leo Scott-Smith. They will be there for a week.
Chris, who is also involved with the Wheels-to-Work social enterprise scheme, trains about 50 students, including son Lewis, who previously went to Gartree school in Coningsby, and is nearing his apprenticeship in construction.
“This is a fact-finding mission, a recce to assess what’s possible,” he said.
As a former Royal Engineer for 12 years, Chris plans to make contact with Queens Engineer Gurkhas who have served in the British Army and have returned to Nepal.
Working with the Gurkha Association, Chris hopes to recruit ex-soldiers to help facilitate the project when his apprentices are on the ground.
“The plan would be to ask for apprentices like Lewis to volunteer and work out there. We will have fundraising to do but we will hopefully have an opportunity to send apprentices out there,” he said.
“This is a long term plan which businesses and individuals can support. This year is the 200th anniversary of the Gurkhas serving with the British Army and the British public is getting behind the relief effort in a big way.
“This opportunity will enable our young people to put into practice their new learnt skills whilst helping a very proud nation get back on its feet. The experience will be life changing for all involved,” he said.
Chris, who previously took a group to Romania through the Horncastle-based charity Copdrop, says further information will be released when the project has been formally set up and Volunteer Apprentices invited to apply.
To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/L2NEarthquakeAppeal. All donations go directly to Nepal to help those in need, the costs associated with this project will be sourced from elsewhere.