RadiomarathonCarpentry students Harley Caplin, back row second from left, Joshua Gudgeon and Lystra Greaves, front row third and fourth from the left, on the stage with some of the people with learning disabilities at Radiomarathon.

Christmas came early for an Enfield charity when a group of Carpentry students built a new stage for its festive show.

Sixteen students from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) worked on the project for Radiomarathon, which provides day care services for around 150 adults with learning disabilities.

The charity’s production A Night at the Musicals on 7 December featured a whole host of festive and musical characters singing seasonal songs and West End showstoppers.

The students spent five days in November building the stage at Radiomarathon’s centre in Turkey Street, which also includes a ramp for those with mobility difficulties.

Sally Trevette, 32, who attends the centre, said: “It’s very exciting being on the stage. I feel more confident. It makes me feel like a star.”

Students Joshua Gudgeon and Lystra Greaves were among the students involved in the project who are all completing a Carpentry and Joinery Diploma Level 1 at the College.

Joshua, 17, said: “Working on the stage has helped me to develop my skills and experience. It was our first build and we were learning things each day as a team we worked well.

“It’s also been nice to help disadvantaged people in the community, and great seeing their reaction and how happy they all were and knowing we’d done a good job.”

Lystra, 17, said: “It’s helped them and it’s helped us. We got the experience of working on the project, and they are reaping the rewards of using the finished stage.

“One of the guys at the centre said it would definitely not have got done if we hadn’t helped. It’s great to know that we made a difference. They were smiling before, but now they’re beaming!”

RadiomarathonCarpentry students Lystra Greaves and Joshua Gudgeon building the stage for Radiomarathon.

CONEL became involved in the project through technology giant Johnson Matthey, which has also provided support to charity through £1,000 in grants for drama, including lighting, costumes and other equipment.

Clifford Tolliday, Centre Manager at Radionmarathon, said: “The stage has really transformed drama for everyone who comes to the centre. It is a really big deal for them. They absolutelly love it. Every lunchtime someone wants to get up on stage and sing a song!

“What the students at CONEL have done for us is amazing. Their professionalism was overwhelming and we’re so grateful that they have done this for us, and want to say a big thank you to them all.”

CONEL plans to continue its support of Radiomarathon by providing Construction students to carry out maintenance work at the centre and get other areas of the College involved.

Call 020 8442 3055 or click here for more information about Construction courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

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