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The Corporation

Posted: 28/11/22

Plumbing teacher brings heat to the vulnerable through charity

A plumbing teacher from West Nottinghamshire College is bringing warmth and compassion to charity premises across the UK, with a helping hand from the college’s apprentices.

  • Jonathan (seated front right) with the students and fellow 'warriors'
  • Some of the many heating pipes installed in the Windsor Action Charity centre
  • The busy Warriors of Warmth break for a well earned lunch

Jonathan Hallam, a former sales manager for a heating products company, has worked as a teacher at the college’s construction campus since 2020. When he’s not busy in the classroom with the Level 2 full-time plumbing students, he’s working hard up and down the country for his charity Warriors of Warmth.

The Warriors of Warmth team consists of approximately 45 plumbing and heating of installers led by Jonathan and has helped over 50 charities since it was established in 2017. The team offers one-to-one advice to charities, and has brought 12 premises up-to-date with full heating, hot water and sanitation so far.

The idea was born when Jonathan realised that his wealth of contacts in the plumbing and heating sector could help to bring free donations to help worthy causes in need of an update in terms of heat and water.

Jonathan has built up an impressive team of installers from around the country willing to give their time for free and receives donations such as piping, radiators, boilers, controls and tools from companies such as Stelrad Radiators, Alpha Boilers, Lawton Tubes, EPH Controls, Fernox and Speedfit.

Warriors of Warmth recently completed their largest charity project in Windsor, transforming a derelict hall into a centre for the homeless and a food bank to help the local community.

Jonathan said: “Despite Windsor’s ties to the Royal family, there is poverty and homelessness in the area. When the Windsor Christian Action Charity began looking for help to build their shelter in the town, I heard about the project through another installer from London via twitter and volunteered our services to renovate and install the heating system that the shelter needed.”

The Windsor-based charity has secured a 25-year lease on its building, a former social club, which will enable all of its projects to be under one roof and continue to support the homeless and vulnerable in the area.

Jonathan, his team of ‘warriors’ and seven plumbing students from the college spent a Saturday at the centre installing a full heating system, stripping out the old and ensuring the new one could provide adequate heating and hot water in large quantities. The team set about asking companies for all the components required to provide a modern, high-quality system for the renovated building.

When completed, the centre will offer an area for service users to have breakfast and lunch, healthcare facilities including access to visiting GPs and nurses, a chiropodist, a hairdresser, professional advisors for mental health, addictions, life re-building advice from the probation services, as well as housing and tenancy advice, on-line skills, and jobs advice.

Jonathan added: “I decided to offer our plumbing students some experience on a real-life project to help boost their skills, confidence levels and ability to manage their time working in a live construction site.

“They were able to get some free tools and a certificate of achievement to reflect they were committed to the cause. Everyone worked very professionally, and the group and I were very proud of the completed heating and plumbing aspect in the building.”

Intermediate plumbing student Jamie Jackson, 16, said: “It was a great day filled with hard work, so many engineers showed up to the site with a positive attitude and everyone displayed teamwork throughout the day.

“Some volunteers provided me with food which was lovely, and I now feel motivated and inspired to find an apprenticeship. I enjoyed myself and was really pleased with the free tools I received.”

People can follow the activities of the Warriors of Warmth on Twitter @WarmthWarriors, Instagram – @warriorsofwarmth and on Facebook. Direct messages can be sent to Jonathan via these channels to discuss how you can contribute to future projects.