Students are praised by church minister

Students are praised by church minister

Students are praised by church minister

A church gate refurbishment mission involving Forth Valley College engineering students, has proved to be a real godsend for Polmont Old Parish Church.

Working in partnership with the Falkirk Council, a group of City and Guilds Engineering and Construction – Welding (Level 3) students took on the task of restoring the heavy iron railing gates to their former glory.

Over a period of four months, Nathanael Fyfe (28), from Hallglen in Falkirk, Matthew Findlay (23) from Brightons, Falkirk, Jordan Duncan (17) from Denny, Jamie Galletly (16) from Grangemouth, Alex Armitage (20) from Bridge of Allan, Gary Tetstall (25) from Bannockburn, Liam Brown (26) from Larbert, Craig Crookston (22) from Maddiston, Ian Khan (30) from Bathgate, Scott Nicol (48) from Dunblane, Ross Thomson (20) from Shieldhill and Jordan Vause (17) from Falkirk, replaced the broken and missing bars, welded them in and removed and replaced the rusted paintwork.

Minister of Polmont Old Parish Church, Reverend Debbie Van Welie, said: “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the students and those who supported them in this project to restore the church gates. This was an enormous undertaking, and I was delighted with the willingness and enthusiasm of all those involved. It was good to hear from the students themselves that the project has helped them develop and further their skills and I wish them all the very best for the future. I also hope that many people will come through these open gates on Sundays at 11 am to meet our congregation and myself.”

FVC Engineering Lecturer, Alan Lockhart, said: “Live voluntary projects like this are an excellent opportunity for the learners to develop their essential skills and improve their citizenship values, as the charitable work they are carrying out will benefit the local community. It was fantastic to see them being engaged in the project transferring their skills learned on the course. They also reinforced their knowledge of health and safety in engineering when they observed Falkirk Council engineering employees complying strictly to health and safety practices in the workplace during the installation of the gates.”

Ralph Ridley, Bridge & Structural Design Co-ordinator in Development Services at Falkirk Council, said: “This project was an ideal opportunity for the students to put their skills into action and gain hands on experience whilst also coming to the aid of their local community.”

Student Matthew Jordan (16) from Falkirk, said: “It was good to work on this project as it was something a wee bit different than our college work. Obviously it was rewarding as we were helping out the church.”

Classmate Gary Testall (26) from Bannockburn, said: "The gates have certainly turned out all right. I didn’t do too much on them, but I did the ornate metal work at the top of the gates and it’s not a bad job.”

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