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ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR 'BUILD IT YOURSELF'

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A teenage team could end up living in their dream home - after converting or even building it themselves. ...
A teenage team could end up living in their dream home - after converting or even building it themselves.

A group of young people - some of whom are due to leave children's homes or foster care - had their first taste of the construction world last week as they get their hands on hard hats and boots, and shouldered their shovels.

And in around six months they will start work on their very own home.

But in the meantime they'll head off on a part time construction course at Liverpool Community College - and for the rest of each week get to grips with the world of work, where they'll get hands on experience helping with house conversions and adaptations.

The eight-strong group have enrolled with Liverpool Community College, and also sign up for work experience with Host Lorne Stewart, the city council's contractor for residential services.

City council executive director Annie Shepperd said: 'This is all about helping people to help themselves. We'll find a suitable site and then the teenagers will team up with the professionals to get building. Then when they've finished they can choose to buy or rent the property.

'It's a fantastic way of teaching them valuable new skills which they can then take on into jobs, and also giving them a home to live in at the same time.'

The scheme is primarily aimed at young people who are about to leave, or have just left, care. They often don't find it easy to get somewhere to live, or to find a job because of this.

Mrs Shepperd added: 'The scheme tackles both employment training and homelessness at the same time. But just as importantly it boosts the self esteem and confidence of these young people hugely.

'What an achievement to have actually built your own home!'

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