From education to employment

Students give back by installing new gate for disabled man

Left to right: Students Cian Pritchard, Kevin Evans, Caio Morgan, Cian Jones and Huw Jones and tutors Gwyn Williams and Tom Allday with the gate

Kind-hearted learners gave back to their community when they created and installed a new gate for a disabled man in Harlech.

Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor students built the steel gate as a project on their Level 2 Welding and Fabrication course, before heading en masse to Harlech to fit it at the home of a very appreciative Elfyn Williams.

The idea started when altruistic tutor Gwyn Williams visited his fellow Harlech resident after spotting that he desperately needed a new gate.

Gwyn Williams, the engineering programme lead for Welding and Fabrication at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, Dolgellau, said: “I live in Harlech and I usually take my youngest lad on his bike in the lower parts of Harlech.

“I kept passing Elfyn’s house. I’ve known him for quite a few years and as time went on before Christmas, I could see half of his gate had fallen apart.

Students taking the gate to Elfyn’s house
The students installing the gate

“I went to see him over the Christmas period and said ‘I’m after a project for my welders to make – would you be happy for them to make you a gate?’. He said yes but that he didn’t have the money to pay for it.”

Gwyn then spoke to Marius Jones, the programme area manager for construction and engineering at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor’s campuses in Pwllheli and Dolgellau.

“We had a lot of older stock, and he said I could use it if I wanted to. So I measured up the gate, we designed it and it went from there,” said Gwyn.

“I said to the students, this is a man who’s in a wheelchair, he can’t work and he’s restricted in what he can pay for, and you guys are in a position to help somebody in the community.

“We set the students the task of coming up with the idea of what it should look like, and over two and a half months they made it, painted it and then we went to Harlech and installed it.

“It was a scorching hot day and they had to work for five minutes then take a break for 15! But they finished the job.”

Elfyn Williams was pleased with the gate built and installed by the students

Elfyn wasn’t at home when the students installed the gate, but told Gwyn how pleased he was when the tutor called round a few days later.

“He was really happy with it,” said Gwyn. “He said he wasn’t expecting it to be of that quality, and he couldn’t thank the college enough.”

The students also gained a lot from the project – in terms of practical experience but also inspiration for future endeavours.

Gwyn said: “I was stretching them there – it was way beyond what the course was asking for, but they were amazed at what they were able to produce, and they enjoyed it.

“They really did appreciate what they were doing, and they felt ‘We’ve done this for somebody in the community – maybe this is something we can do as full-time work’.

“Hopefully the gate will be there for many years to come!”

Related Articles