A team of Renfrewshire Council employees about to embark on a charity trip to build houses in Africa have been given training from the council’s apprentices.

Team Renfrewshire, a group of seven council workers who have volunteered to go on the trip, were put through their paces by apprentices and staff from the council’s Building Services department to help them prepare.

As part of the training session the team got to try their hand at mixing mortar, bricklaying, hammering and sawing as well as building their own bird boxes. A brief health and safety session was also provided.

Their training was led by trade apprentice joiners, Fraser Shaw and Ryan Fallon in conjunction with the apprentice bricklayers Robert Smith and Joseph Murray. They are part of the 20 strong trade apprentices within Building Services

Team Renfrewshire are heading off on their volunteering trip on 20 September with Habitat for Humanity. They were originally due to go to Lesotho, however due to political unrest in the country they are now going to be working on a build in South Africa.

The Pelican Park project is situated on an 80 hectare piece of land near Zeekoevlei, Grassy Park in the Western Cape. The 3,200 house development is the first of its kind in Cape Town and the largest in the Western Cape, where families from different income levels will be living together in one settlement.

Alan Rafferty, a graphic designer for the council and one of the volunteers, said: “We’re really disappointed that we’re no longer able to go to Lesotho but we are really excited about the opportunity to go on this build in South Africa. We’ll be working with local people so we’ll see directly how our time and effort is going towards providing a brighter future for this community.

“We know it’s going to be hard work so it was good to get in a bit of practice and pick up some tips before we go. The guys were all really helpful and showed us how to do things safely. They’ve also provided us with some equipment including saws, hammers, trowels, eye protectors and measuring tapes to take with us.

“We have received a huge amount of support for this trip and want to thank everyone who has helped us exceed our fundraising target.”

Team Renfrewshire’s trip is part of Renfrewshire Council’s Employee Volunteering Scheme.

To keep up with how the team get on with their trip, like their Facebook page.