Joinery bursary awarded to inspirational student

8th August 2018 2:57pm - Return to press releases

Joinery bursary awarded to inspirational student

Student James Balkwill, aged 19 from Gransmoor near Driffield has been chosen to receive a bursary for joinery from the Gordon Leason Carpentry Apprenticeship Scholarship Fund, awarded by the Rotary Club of Driffield.  The Trust was created in memory of Mr Gordon Leason, a skilled carpenter and joiner from Driffield, who passed away aged 92, leaving a bequest to help trainee carpenters in the local area. The £500 annual prize is intended to help students buy their first tools of the trade.

 Dave Symonds, James’ tutor explains, “James has been a student of mine for the past academic year studying a City & Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Carpentry & Joinery. I and other members of staff have recognised James’s eagerness to learn and accomplish all aspects of his qualification.  James’s ambition is to become a qualified tradesman and follow in his father’s footsteps, and the bursary will help him along the way. He is already a true entrepreneur and recycles and upcycles unwanted items into marketable products. James has been involved in many projects at the College too, such as making seating areas and benches for the College grounds, and making stage sets for a student musical held at the theatre at Flemingate in Beverley.”

 James’ Mum Tracey Balkwill said, “I am so proud of James.  He’s had many challenges, including having autism, but within the last year his whole life has turned around.  He is so much more confident, relaxed and happier.  He has made enormous steps forward with his joinery skills and is always making things at home.”

 James added, “The course has been so different from being at school.  I have enjoyed studying as part of a team, supporting each other along the way.  With the money received I will be buying some joinery tools.  I like to be busy.  I will be continuing with my studies on the Level 2 Diploma in Joinery.” 

 Phil Smith, President of the Rotary Club who presented James with his cheque said, “James is a brilliant student and deserves this award.  The Rotary Club like to support the craft and practical skills sector.  Very best wishes to James for his future.”