While many children were relaxing and enjoying their school holidays, a group of apprentices from Toyota Manufacturing UK’s external apprenticeship scheme were working tirelessly over four days to transform two Derbyshire schools’ outside play areas.

The Toyota manufacturing plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, produces the Avensis, Auris, Auris Touring Sports and Auris Hybrid models, along with petrol and hybrid engines at its engine manufacturing plant in Deeside, North Wales. These models offer a compact sporty style as well as economic assurance, and are available for you to explore right here at Lancaster Toyota, along with the rest of the Toyota range.

For Portway Infant School in Allestree, the apprentices built twelve raised beds (one for each class) to give pupils a chance to learn about the environment and growing vegetables in a hands-on, fun way. They also created a hand-carved ‘story-telling chair’ to add a splash of colour as well as keeping up the area’s playtime feel.

Alvaston Junior Community School’s special needs unit needed a little more practical attention, so the apprentices began by making repairs to a very unstable fence that previously prevented the special needs children from enjoying outside play. They also built a shed to provide some much-needed outdoor storage, and some raised flower beds to give the children a fun and colourful learning environment.

Claire Walker, Headteacher at Portway Infant School said: ‘The end result is just what we need to inspire the children. It will support the school in gaining its green eco award and will help to teach the children about planting and producing food. We would like to say a huge thank you to the apprentices from Toyota for their hard work and professionalism.’

Rosie Bullivant, Teaching Assistant at Alvaston Junior Community School, said: ‘Our special needs unit will have 14 children attending in September who will now be able to work and play outdoors in a safe and attractive environment. They will love it.’

These projects were funded by the Toyota Manufacturing UK Charitable Trust, so they could provide materials of the highest quality possible. The volunteering projects make part of Toyota’s commitment to helping the local community as well as helping to develop the apprentices’ interpersonal skills in teamwork and leadership.