VOLUNTEERS turned the sod on an exciting new project last weekend: a cubby house designed by students from Eaglehawk and Lightning Reef primary schools.
The cubby is part of the Passions & Pathways Project, an initiative run by the City of Greater Bendigo, the Bendigo Manufacturing Group, the Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network and a number of Bendigo businesses.
Australian Turntable Company volunteers and City of Greater Bendigo employees prepared the base of the cubby.
The businesses have partnered up with year six students from Eaglehawk and Lightning Reef primary schools to introduce the children to the joys of work.
City of Greater Bendigo industry development manager Jeff Bothe said the program was carried out in a very formal manner, with the students overseeing all aspects of planning and execution.
"In week one they designed the cubby, decided where it would be and dug to check the site was safe," he said.
"They did all the preparation a builder has to do to identify a suitable site.
"They do preparations and industry visits ... and then they do a project for four weeks and they're in that phase now.
"It's aiming to inspire these kids."
The cubby is being manufactured at the Bendigo Truss Plant and will reside at Eaglehawk Primary School when completed.
The students worked with Bendigo TAFE to design the plans for the cubby and will next week visit the plant to see the structure come to life.
Mr Bothe said the project instilled confidence in the children.
"They get incredible life skill out of this," he said.
"They go from quiet kids, not confident, to working with a group of other kids not necessarily from their school.
"The transition is amazing."
Mr Bothe said that many of the children were from low socio-economic families and that introducing them to industry leaders provided them with fantastic career exposure.
Other Passions & Pathways initiatives include projects run by Bendigo Pottery and hairdresser Jools for Jim.