Toy library renovation team up for national accolade

Team leaders Leanne Dainty and Matt Gustard with their award for reaching the final of the competition to find the apprentice team of the year.
Team leaders Leanne Dainty and Matt Gustard with their award for reaching the final of the competition to find the apprentice team of the year.

Work on the renovation of Bulwell Toy Library has helped a team of apprentices reach the final of a national competition.

The apprentices, from Nottingham City Homes, carried out the work at the toy library’s base at Norwich Gardens as part of a community project.

They also visited 20 schools and youth groups, including some in the Bulwell area, to talk about the benefits of apprenticeships, and they even hosted five business events to talk to potential employers.

Now they have been named national finalists in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge after emerging as the highest scoring team in the region. The challenge, run by the Brathay educational trust, aims to find the country’s apprentice team of the year.

Matt Gustard, leader of the team, said: “We are very determined and we want to win this title for ourselves and the company to make our friends and family proud.”

Pride was also the word used by Nick Murphy, chief executive of Nottingham City Homes, who described his team as “fantastic ambassadors for our apprenticeship scheme”.

“They have worked so hard, alongside their day-to-day jobs, to get to this stage in the competition,” he said. “The best thing about this challenge is the impact it can have on local communities, such as Bulwell. The team have offered help and support to groups, using skills and knowledge gained during their apprenticeship, to complete huge tasks for the benefit of others.”

The Nottingham team beat more than 70 others to get to the final, where they come up against rivals from huge companies such as JCB and IBM. The winners will be announced on June 14.