Stonemasonry students from Bath College have volunteered their time for a project honouring local men who served in World War I. The Level 3 students have carved commemorative paving stones for Mulberry Park, a new development in Bath being built by housing association Curo. Local group Combe Down Heritage Society suggested that the streets should be named after men from the community who fought in the war. Each street will be marked with a commemorative paving stone, with the first of these unveiled at a ceremony on Monday November 6. Students Joshua Underwood, Jonny Stoker, Morwenna Harrington and Jack Green volunteered their time for the project. They have made stones to honour Henry John ‘Harry’ Patch, William George Chivers and Herbert Charles Windell, who all grew up together in Combe Down village. Harry Patch, “the last fighting Tommy”, was the last surviving combat soldier of World War I in any country. The paving stones were kindly donated by Forest of Dean Stone Firms.
A student left paralysed after a motorcycle accident is fundraising for a standing wheelchair to help him train as a hairdresser. Mitchell Chalmers needs £4,900 for the wheelchair, which would make a big difference to his learning as a first-year student at Bath College. He was just 22-years-old when he came off his bike at a motocross racing event three years ago, suffering severe spinal injuries as a result. Going back to college, to train for a profession and secure a job, is an important step along his road to recovery. Mitchell, who is paralysed from the stomach down, said: “I’d been riding since I was eight-years-old and I’d got to British Championship level. “I loved it and I still love it now. I feel I have had so much taken away from me and I need to fight and get something back. “It’s been hard to find a job since my accident, but I think I’m young enough to try something new and being in a wheelchair won’t stop me. “I have a dream to become a hairdresser so I can support myself financially, I’m quite creative and I think there’s a real art to hairdressing.” The standing wheelchair will give Mitchell extra height and support, making it easier for him to lift and cut peoples’ hair. Students in his class are getting behind the appeal and are planning a fundraising event at the Bath College salon. For the week after half-term, starting on Monday October 31, students are organising a rowing machine challenge. Participants will pay £1 to see how fast they can row 1,000 metres, with a prize for the fastest time. Friends and family have already supported Mitchell, raising £700 with a charity raffle and barbecue at the Crossways in Midsomer Norton. He is more than halfway to reaching his target of £4,900 after collecting £2,020 from 63 supporters on his JustGiving page. Mitchell said: “The wheelchairs are made specifically for your height and weight. I’ve had a demonstration and it felt really good. “One of the biggest struggles is funding equipment to help me do the things I was able to do before. I don’t think there’s enough help out there. “When I set up my JustGiving page, everyone pulled together to help. It’s been amazing really – the funds shot up in the first two weeks. “For some time after the accident I shut myself away, but coming to college and meeting new people has given me a real confidence boost.” To support Mitchell visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mitchell-chalmers.
Sports student Katie Robbins is looking to build a career as a professional athlete after winning the Target Sprint National Final 2017. Katie, who won the junior women’s category, is new to Target Sprint, an international sport which combines running with shooting. Race participants alternate between running and shooting, running 400 metres three times and shooting five targets twice.
An opening ceremony, held to celebrate Bath College’s Somer Construction Centre, gave guests the chance to see students working in brand new workshops and classrooms. The state-of-the-art facility, at the College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, was built with support from the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership. It is being used to teach 500 students and apprentices studying bricklaying, construction, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration.