Alexander Community Development overhauls key community space


28th October 2020

ACD’s Trades for All programme recently completed our largest project to date, which was a complete overhaul of the kitchen and bathroom facilities within MAXwell Centre, Dundee.

This project was carried out with a group of 4 young adult volunteers, who recently completed our Transition to Trade programme (where they gained multiple qualifications and site experience), 3 tradesmen who volunteered their time and our Trades for All trainer.

The aim of this programme is to provide volunteers of all ages, an opportunity to find purpose in their life, whilst giving back to the local community. We work closely with retired tradespeople, who may be facing mental and physical health challenges but still want to keep busy. These people become mentors to our young adult volunteers who are actively seeking employment, particularly within the construction industry. We then work with local trades and construction companies to give real life insight and expertise to ensure the project is completed within the budget, to the highest level.

Kara Swankie, Operations Manager @ ACD – “Trades for All is one of our key programmes, which enables the community to access discounted, high quality trade services whilst creating invaluable learning experience for both our volunteers. There is something really special watching a retired tradesperson, share their skills and stories with the next generation.

Alison Goodfellow, Centre Manager @ MAXwell Centre - “We secured some funding for a much needed and long overdue kitchen refit but really did not know where to start. We were put on contact with ACD and they have been amazing from the start. They completed the job to a fantastically high standard given our limited budget. They have really gone the extra mile to source superior quality materials and equipment. The volunteers and tradesmen were hardworking, polite, and friendly. We are SO grateful and would highly recommend ACD to other community projects ”

MAXwell Centre project was completed in partnership with John Robertson Joinery, Complete Coverings LTD and Bellrock Plumbing.

We are actively seeking projects. Community organisations can register their interest and their available budget on our website -





About MAXwell Centre :

Our Mission is to “Maximise a Community’s Potential by Feeling well, Being well and Doing well”

The main themes we aim to tackle in our proposal are child poverty and food insecurity.

In the Coldside area of Dundee, we provide a vibrant community centre, well used by groups and individuals, young and old. The services provided change continually as we all work together to provide activities that meet ever-changing needs. Our thriving centre provides groups and individuals with the opportunity to take control of their lives by being able to address the difficult day to day issues affecting them such as poverty, debt, unemployment and poor health.

An ambitious community garden project transformed a derelict builder’s yard at the centre into a fertile garden. Community consultation identified a need for a green space and the resources to grow fruit and vegetables and we created the facility to do so. Our Community garden provides the local community with the skills and confidence to grow their own food and the equipment and resources to do so. The majority of local housing has no access to private outdoor space. Community engagement with the garden from the start has been fantastic.
Our Objectives:

· To be an inclusive centre catering to the needs of all members of the community.
· To provide a caring, supportive environment for all our visitors.
· To challenge obstacles faced by local people, empowering them to overcome difficulties.
· To have a positive impact on community members, improving their wellbeing.
· To engage our local young people in outdoor learning and healthy activities.
· To provide, develop and deliver dignified responses to food insecurity.
The services we provide are completely driven by the community we serve. This is demonstrated by not only the large number of our local community engaged with the project but the wide range of participants from diverse backgrounds.

About Alexander Community Development

Alexander Community Development is a community driven organisation, that provides hands-on training centre for both young people and adults, of all ability and trade.

We provide 2 main services, Transition to Trade and Community Programme.
Transition to Trade is born from 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. The programme which is delivered to two demographics – Schools (high school pupils) and Bespoke (users of employability services). This gives young people a positive pathways into the construction industry. There are no barriers such as existing qualifications or experience, just a desire to gain something more from life.
Our community programme has two key services – Food Distribution and Trades for All.

Food Distribution has become one of our most vital services during 2020, in direct response to Covid-19. Serving the 25-27 food insecurity projects in Dundee, ACD is a central storage and distribution hub for food purchased by Dundee City Council. This work is carried out in partnership with Faith in Community, who are an anchor organisation for the food insecurity projects. ACD also supports local food manufactures and shops to manage their excess stock by collecting and redistributing across the projects.

For more information, contact Kara, Operations Manager –

Alexander Community Development

Alexander Community Development has developed from 20 years of work in the decorating trade, both in practise and education. The sister company of ACD, Alexander Decorators LTD has lead the way in developing skill and talent in the trade, and this work will now be built upon in ACD. Within in this live working environment, there will be programmes delivered for children and young people who are looking to gain qualifications and skills that will gain them future employment opportunities.

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