Apprentice leaves bypass to help finish children’s centre

Josh Brown, a technical apprentice at Carillion Plc.

Josh Brown, a technical apprentice at Carillion Plc.

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A Northumberland apprentice is travelling across the world to help provide other youngsters with a special centre for safety and support.

Josh Brown, a technical apprentice at Carillion Plc, the organisation behind the construction of the Morpeth Northern Bypass, has been chosen to be one of a team of employees to travel to Lesotho in southern Africa to support the development of a special children’s centre.

When finished, the Mamohato Children’s Centre will become the flagship for all of the Sentebale charity’s work – a charity co-founded by Prince Harry of Wales and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho that aims to provide the support children in the area need to lead healthy and productive lives.

The centre will work with the most vulnerable children including those who are victims of extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDs epidemic in Lesotho.

Josh, 17, from Widdrington, is currently completing his Level 2 BTEC in civil engineering and said he can’t wait to get started on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

He said: “I was delighted to be picked as part of the team that will put the finishing touches on the children’s centre. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain some great experience and it will be good to be able to use the skills I have learned here in the UK to develop something really worthwhile in another country and help to make a positive difference to so many lives.”

Work on the Mamahato centre began in April 2014 and the Carillion team will be working on the final touches before the centre opens in November.

Those travelling to Lesotho have raised £1,000 each to go towards the works and their upkeep while in Africa.

Dave Bennett, project director at Morpeth Northern Bypass, said: “We are delighted that Josh is so eager to get involved in this project.

“He’s learned a lot in his time with here with the Morpeth team and while he still has a way to go before qualifying, we’re sure his skills and enthusiasm will be a great help to the team in Lesotho.

“At Carillion we always try to give students, those at apprenticeship level, degree, masters and even PhD, the chance to work with us and learn the hands-on skills that you can’t pick up in a classroom, and what better way than travelling to southern Africa to use those skills for a greater cause.”