Engineering is child’s play, Tony Gee supports Dream Networks in nurturing tomorrow’s future thinkers.
It is not all work and no play here at Tony Gee. In fact, our effort to nurture talent and foster an interest in engineering with tomorrow’s bright minds spans well beyond the confines of our offices. As part of our social value policy, we sponsor staff to invest their own time in projects that benefit communities or provide social good. Tony Gee supports several charitable and educative causes that aims to improve environments, The Dreams Networks initiative is one of these.
Dream Networks collaborates with businesses and schools to create co-designed play areas by children within marginalised communities. The value that Tony Gee sees in such an organisation is the opportunity to inspire the next generation by showing the day-to-day life of an engineer and convey a sense of fun that can be had with design and build.
The Dream Networks Love Plays programme was launched in response to a global need for children to develop mentally and physically through outdoor play, the growing need for playful and practical application of STEAM in school education and lastly a strong need to cultivate the next generations’ passion for global sustainability issues. As a result of the Love Plays programme, community tailored play areas are creatively designed with school aged children and sustainably built-in disadvantaged areas where children require a safe area to play.
A 5-strong team from Tony Gee’s Birmingham office supported a Dream Networks project at St John’s and St Peter’s C of E Academy, Ladywood. The children participated in a series of trips and classroom style interactive workshops to create drawings of playgrounds that they’d most like to use. They were then encouraged to use clay to model their chosen designs into real-world 3D forms, in preparation for to be presented in a “Dragons’ Den” style competition. A group of ‘judges’ (the children’s peers and members of Tony Gee) received pitches and a final design was chosen to be turned into a real-life playground, on this occasion with a unanimous decision!
As the chosen construction partner, Tony Gee had the responsibility of bringing the winning model to life.
Sam Bolton, Design Engineer from Tony Gee “It has been a very rewarding project to be involved in. The children were enthusiastic and had a lot of interesting ideas. It was great to be so involved and see the children’s understanding change as the project developed from concept to design.”
Chris Ellis, Design Engineer from Tony Gee echoed “It felt great to work on a local school playground development, knowing that we are enriching the students’ play time by providing them with brand new equipment to explore. I enjoyed the weekly interaction with the students and explaining engineering concepts to them that drives the design in everyday projects”.
This is a great charity for Tony Gee to be involved with as it combines our engineering and design skills with the enthusiasm of the children, giving them a real sense of ownership of the final playground which they have helped to create.
With the help of some Tony Gee volunteers the playground opened to the children to enjoy at the end of June 2021.
We are pleased to say that the feedback was extremely positive.
Watch the videos of the children enjoying the playground here: