work experiencePupils at Pinewood School are to secure invaluable work experience in a new partnership with Scotland’s largest housing and care provider.

Eager pupils have signed up for a four to six week project which will see them work at Blackfaulds Court, Fauldhouse, and Mansewood Court in Whitburn, helping with social events at the two sheltered housing developments.

Work Experience is vital for any child as they prepare to leave school but particularly for the pupils at Pinewood in Blackburn, a school for children with additional support needs.

The idea for the partnership stemmed from a conversation at a coffee morning between Marion Russel manager at Mansewood Court and Cheryl Baillie, manager at Blackfaulds Court.

The project sees pupils from Pinewood attend coffee mornings, help tenants set up tables, assist with raffles and clear up afterwards. At the end of their project, pupils receive a certificate of completion for their hard work and dedication.

Pamela Greig, Headteacher at Pinewood School, said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside Bield to run work experience programmes for our pupils.

“These programmes are vital for our pupils to gain a greater understanding of what life is like after school and we have already seen a really positive response from everyone that has taken part.

“We look forward to continuing to work on this project with Bield to benefit both the pupils of Pinewood School and the tenants.”

Emma Kennedy, Tenancy Sustainment Officer at Bield, said: “Although the age groups may be years apart – Pinewood School and Bield share the same ethos.

“We both believe everyone is a unique individual with different support needs, but with the right support we can all achieve our full potential.

“The work experience scheme has been so successful that we decided to expand it from the initial launch at Blackfaulds Court to Mansewood Court, allowing a larger number of pupils to get involved with the project.

“Tenants have voiced their approval of the project as they really enjoy time with the pupils. They often struggle to get out and about to socialise and bringing the Pinewood School pupils to them is a great way to benefit both groups.”

Bield – a registered charity in their 41st year of business – has grown from humble beginnings, opening its first housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authorities.