This summer saw the coming together of Armstead Trade’s newly formed group of trade mentors – the Armstead Allies – and Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) to transform the Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People.
Alka Dass, Senior Brand Manager – Armstead, said: “As part of AkzoNobel’s long-term commitment to giving back to local communities under our People. Planet. Paint. approach, we wanted to put the expertise of the trade front and centre of our latest Armstead Trade campaign. The ambition is all about promoting the profession and getting younger people into the trade. We have an ageing population and this is reflected in the demographic of painters and decorators.
“We’ve always believed in the positive power of paint to transform spaces through colour. And what better way to pave the path for future talent than through peer-to-peer learning and hands-on experience from some the best in the industry? And so, the Armstead Allies were born.”
“For a space like the Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People, we needed a product that would last, be hardwearing, stain-resistant and water-based. We used Armstead Trade Durable Matt, which is an ideal paint for high traffic areas that are used every day. It was the perfect project for Armstead and the Armstead Allies.”
Armstead’s nominated Allies for the brand’s debut project in Nottingham included: Nathan Carter and his apprentice Kieran from Nice Decor, Seán Kelly from Seán Kelly Enterprises Ltd and also a Dulux Select Decorator, Billy Flynn from Flynn & Co and Mike Cupit from Mike Cupit Décor. Between them they hold over 70 years of painting and decorating experience and regularly use Armstead for their client jobs – they were the perfect ambassadors for this project, in collaboration with VIY. On the day, they guided ten young people, provided them with practical learning and advice and gave them a real taste of what a career in painting and decorating is like.
“We already have a longstanding partnership with VIY as part of our Dulux Let’s Colour programme,” Dass explains. “We are incredibly supportive of their work and we will continue to explore ways of giving back to communities and bringing in young people to trade.”
VIY is a social enterprise that works with 14–24-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of disengagement/exclusion from mainstream education and training. They give young people access to DIY and volunteering by challenging them to help repair and refurbish youth and community facilities, whilst learning vocational trade skills on the job.
Hannah Green, Communications Manager, at Volunteer It Yourself, said: “This collaboration with Armstead and its Armstead Allies initiative was a no-brainer. At VIY, we’re all about giving people hands-on experience, learning from professional tradespeople. Ultimately, we want to give them a taste of the trade, help them gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations and further work-readiness skills, whilst helping to renovate valued community places in need.”
Seán Kelly from Seán Kelly Enterprises Ltd: “I found the mentorship event incredibly inspiring. To see young people wanting to engage with professional trades people was quite emotional. As the day went on, some of the youngsters grew in confidence and were interacting with us like they had known us for years.”
Nathan Carter, Nice Decor: “I absolutely loved working with all the guys over at the Armstead Allies. I would love to do something like this again. Teaching the young people and giving them an insight into life in the real world felt great – it gives them an opportunity a lot of us didn’t ever have. I would say from this I have learnt that there are young people who want to learn and have a strong interest in life outside of the standard education system. Being as it was a system that didn’t serve me well, and trade being my “saving grace”, I learnt there is more out there especially nowadays for young people trying to get somewhere in life after school/college.”
“This is only the start of our Armstead Allies journey,” Dass continues. “The debut Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People project has exceeded all expectations, and we’re already getting interest from the trade to get involved in upcoming projects. Feel free to sign-up to our Armstead newsletter if you’re interested in finding out more from the brand and future activity. Anyone who signs up between 15th August – 30th September 2022 will be entered into a prize draw to win an Armstead Branded cap and water bottle.”
It is also worth noting, if you are currently mentoring your own apprentice – like Armstead Ally Nathan – find out more here about Dulux Academy’s recently launched Apprentice Season Ticket – another new initiative from AkzoNobel to attract, develop and retain new entrants into the industry.