APPRENTICES at Plus Dane Housing have planned two events to showcase their talents and enhance local communities, as part of National Apprenticeship Week. After being set the challenge by Plus Dane chief executive Barbara Spicer, two teams have been working on projects with the theme of supporting vulnerable people. A team in the Merseyside area of the organisation organised a tea dance in Liverpool bringing together residents of five sheltered schemes, with an aim of combating social isolation and loneliness among older people in the region. The Liverpool event, held at the Colwell Court sheltered scheme in West Derby, saw some 60 residents from Plus Dane schemes including Grange Court, Radleys Court, St. Martins and Christopher Taylor House attending for an afternoon of food and fun. Apprentice plumber Jackie Whitehead, who was nominated as lead of the Merseyside project said: “We decided to do a tea dance as we wanted to do something for our older tenants and this was a great way to give something back.” Games, live entertainment from a local singer, food, an indoor gardening session and transport were all made possible through donations from local businesses and branches of chain stores. The event was attended by Liverpool’s Lord Mayor Tony Concepcion. All money raised from the day will go towards the budget of the Cheshire apprentices’ project, which starting this week will focus on improving the garden area of Plus Dane’s Westland’s homeless families scheme in Congleton. The Westland scheme has the space to support up to eight families at one time, and sees about 90 children a year pass through its doors. However, its garden is not suitable for children, so the Plus Dane team plan to create a play safe play area with a teddy bears picnic theme. The project began last week to tie in with National Apprenticeship Week and is scheduled to be completed by early April. Plus Dane chief executive Barbara Spicer said: “Plus Dane is committed to investing in our apprentices and it really is an inspiration to see how they have risen to the challenge this National Apprenticeship Week, overseeing their own projects from planning to execution. “An incredible amount of thought, time and hard work has gone into them, and the community spirit and dedication shown by our apprentices has really shone through. Each of these projects will have a positive impact on the community as well as equipping our talented apprentices with new skills to achieve outcomes that they, and Plus Dane, can really be proud of. “ Any available apprentice opportunities are advertised in the current vacancies section on the Plus Dane website and also on the National Apprenticeships Service website.