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MEMBER NEWS


BookBenches art trail celebrates literary past and future of reading


Schools, hospitals and businesses in North Nottinghamshire have their brushes at the ready after receiving a delivery of giant, paintable book-shaped benches as part of the inaugural North Notts Journeys’ literary trail. Those receiving the ‘BookBenches’ were chosen after submitting literary-inspired designs into the competition last year, and they now get to paint their winning ideas onto the benches. Once painted, the benches will


be displayed at popular indoor and outdoor locations to form an art trail across North Nottinghamshire. The route will be available for local families, residents and visitors to enjoy for ten weeks from mid-June. The project has been organised


by North Notts BID, which has commissioned public art specialist Wild in Art to support the campaign. The trail of colourful benches will celebrate the area’s rich literary history and the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing, as well as promoting a life-long love of reading. Sally Gillborn, Chief Executive of


North Notts BID, said: “We’re excited to see the BookBenches arrive for painting and we can’t wait to see how the designs look in real life. Once the trail is over, the benches will be returned to the schools and organisations that designed them to inspire creativity and create a legacy within the community.


“The trail is going to be a real


attraction for the area – we hope it will encourage people to explore parts of North Nottinghamshire that they haven’t been to before and give new visitors a reason to come and support our local businesses.” The benches will be available for


the public to view and enjoy throughout the summer, with a printed trail map and website to be launched in the coming months. Once the trail has ended, the BookBenches will return to the competition winners.


Once painted, the benches will be displayed at popular indoor and outdoor locations from across North Nottinghamshire


“It was important for this year’s


trail to tap into the region’s unique heritage. As well as its amazing literary history, we wanted to include the Mayflower crossing as a key historical moment that impacted many people from North Nottinghamshire. Many of the designs have been inspired by this significant event, as well as telling the story of its past, present and future.


Construction firm builds kids’ IT skills


A team from Nottingham-based construction company Willmott Dixon has linked up with local social enterprise Helping Kids Achieve to deliver a series of workshops that will bring important IT and digital skills to young people aged 9-16. As part of its ‘purpose beyond


profit’ ethos, the company works with social enterprises to support the aim to reinvest profits back into good causes. Members of the IT department at


Willmott Dixon’s local office held their first workshop recently. It saw the company donate computer equipment, run a programme to develop the young people’s skills, and showcase the roles and career opportunities available in the construction industry. Vicky Trowell, Head of IT Project


22 business network April 2020


Support at Willmott Dixon, said: “I was delighted to see how successful our first session was, the young children were fully engaged and couldn’t wait to use the technology. Being able to donate recycled devices to Helping Kids Achieve and having the chance to support young people in developing skills for the future is fantastic – it has also been a great opportunity to tell them about career opportunities available in our industry. We are now planning to follow the same model for other social enterprises in the future.” Keiren Thompson, Founder of


L-R: Andy Hobson, Willmott Dixon; Keiren Thompson, Helping Kids Achieve; Vicky Trowell, Willmott Dixon


Helping Kids Achieve, said: “I’m delighted that Helping Kids Achieve and Willmott Dixon have created a partnership to support and help young people upskill and ensure they are work-ready once they leave full-time education.”


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