Work experience students come up with plans for major Gillingham project

WHILE most work experience students can expect t make a lot of tea – two youngsters in Gillingham got involved with a major redevelopment project.

Year 12 students from Gillingham School, Matthew Penney and Peter Lavis, undertook a placement at Gillingham Town Council.

They were given the task of researching and costing plans to redevelop the playing fields on Harding’s Lane, behind Riversmeet.

“This involved liaising with staff and contractors, researching funding and grants, and finally presenting the various options to the attending councillors and Gillingham mayor, Cllr Barry Von Clemens,” a school spokesperson said.

“The final presentation was described as “exceptional and showcased their maturity, confidence and erudition”, with the councillors universally positive about their work throughout the week and the quality of the final presentation.”

Now, both students hope to continue playing a role in the redevelopment when the public consultation is opened, and plan to build stronger links between the school and town council moving forward.

“We are very proud of their work, which will be of benefit to the local community,” the spokesperson went on.

Elsewhere, students were working at solicitors, primary schools, veterinary practices, dance schools, sports coaching, museums, conservation organisations, charities and hospital trusts.

“These experiences will facilitate the students in future university, job and apprenticeship applications,” the spokesperson said.

Some students went further afield, with placements in London with the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, the Society of Antiquities, Barclays Investment Bank and financial technology company Wise.

“We received excellent reports back from employers regarding the students’ excellent attitudes, attendance and enthusiasm,” they added.

“Gillingham School would like to thank all employers for their support in providing work experience for our students – it provides them with invaluable opportunities for their personal development.”

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.