THE future is bright for teenager Ben Garwood who has gained a place on a college course after a successful work placement.

Ben, who is 19 and from Kelvedon, has Down’s Syndrome.

He underwent a 12-week placement with Greenfields Community Housing.

He spent a day a week with a tradesman who taught him an array of valuable skills.

This has now led to Ben being enrolled in a construction skills course at Braintree College which begins this month.

Andrew said: “I heard about Ben through my wife, who works with his mum.

“I have a disabled relative myself and understand the difficulties families can have in finding suitable and meaningful work experience placements.

My colleagues felt the same, and I knew Greenfields could really help.”

After nailing the basics, Ben was given some tools and put his newly acquired skills to the test including woodwork, putting up handrails and fixing window hinges.

Andrew added: “Ben has definitely matured and developed his communication, knowledge and working skills.

It’s been a great experience and journey for us, too.”

Ben will now attend a Life Skills course at Chelmsford College in the day, and Greenfields is supporting Ben to attend a level 1 certificate in construction skills at Braintree College in the evening.

A different staff member will take him to each class to mentor and support him as he learns carpentry, plastering, painting and decorating and tiling skills.

Ben’s dad, Simon, said: “Andrew put together a really good work programme for Ben.

“He was always up 20 minutes early, even though it was a longer day than he was used to. There’s no doubt it’s been one of the highlights of his year.

“We’re really excited about the evening course and so grateful for the support.

Ben wants to build and repair homes in the future after being inspired by seeing Greenfields’ new developments.