Port Talbot bricklayer heads to Uganda to help build maternity ward

A bricklaying shared apprentice from NPTC Group of Colleges has returned from a charity mission in Uganda with memories to last a life time.

Sam Shaw who spent two weeks helping to build a maternity ward with charity EFOD South West Wales is back at College this week and is proud to be part of something that will make a difference to the people in Uganda. He put his skills to good use and helped out with the bricklaying, purchasing products and supervising.

Twenty-one year-old Sam, who lives in Port Talbot, is in his third year of his bricklaying shared apprenticeship with NPTC Group and Cyfle Building Skills. Not only is he the youngest apprentice to go to Uganda on behalf of Cyfle Building Skills but he is also the first from the Neath Port Talbot area to be involved in the project.

Whilst he was there he made friends with local youngsters who were also helping out on the project.  On his last day he and a fellow charity worker decided to give their clothes to the workers left behind along with their tools.

He said: “At the end of the day we opened the suitcase and went up one by one to choose what they wanted. It was very emotional to see. You couldn’t help but smile when seeing their faces. I’m glad we left them to very good people who I know will have a lot of use out of them.

“I think this part of our journey put the cherry on top for us, and I would love to go back and visit again in the future. I hope that they finish the rest of the project in the same spirit while we were there as they were happy all day every day and I will definitely be keeping in touch with them.”

Ian Lumsdaine, Head of Construction at NPTC Group said: “This was an ideal opportunity for Sam to put everything he has learned as part of his training to the test. The experience will stay with him forever and we are hoping that more of our apprentices will have similar opportunities.”

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