Work experience team helps to clear Keswick’s former Pencil Factory

A major clear-up of Keswick’s former Pencil Factory is taking place, thanks to a dedicated team in a work experience programme.
Project Renovo, set up by CRS Facility Management, provides a training program for people wanting to join the industry and get back into full time employment.
The team has cleared upper floors of the factory building as well as strip out offices from the top floor. They have also cleaned ground floor areas of the Pencil Factory and areas outside.
Keswick Ministries, which owns the site, says the work of the team has been “invaluable”, as the building will be a venue for part of the popular children’s programme at this Summer’s Convention (Saturday 13 July to Friday 2 August).
Children (6-7’s in Weeks 2 and 3, and 8-11’s across all three weeks) will move from marquees on the Rawnsley site into the former Pencil Factory.
“We are so grateful to the CRS team for all of their hard work in clearing areas of the building. The work they have done has made a big difference and is vital to ensuring the venue is ready in time for the Convention,” said Murray Lawrie, Facilities Manager for Keswick Ministries.
CRS says the aim of the four-week work experience program is to enable participants to gain experience of working within the industry, work as part of a team and develop their skills.
The four-strong team work with a CRS supervisor to form a facilities team. This group has been deployed to various clients, including Keswick Ministries, to complete tasks at reduced cost. The project will continue to run throughout the year with new candidates joining every four weeks.
Gavin Henry, Director of CRS Facility Management, said: “This particular intake got “stuck in” from the outset, during training and induction they displayed a keen interest within the business and the industry we work in. They have successfully completed various tasks and, also at a high standard. We look forward to continuing our work with them.”
The team is among a host of helpers bought in to clear the Pencil Factory building.
Liam Ryan, of Macmillan Cancer Support, gave a day of work to Keswick Ministries.
He said: “I was pleased to play a small role in cleaning up a Keswick landmark and to support three local institutions; the Pencil Factory, the Rawnsley Centre, and the Convention. It’s great to be able to help Keswick Ministries to create a space where locals and visitors can work, play, and worship together.”
Conventioners have also offered their time to help clear the building in advance of this summer’s event.
Significant work, to refurbish the whole building, is due to start in the Autumn.

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