Decorating apprentices to join charity effort in Slovenia

Pictured with Lewis Metcalfe and Abi Johnson is chief executive officer of the PDA, Neil Ogilvie

Award-winning apprentices from Bradford are set to travel to Slovenia as part of an international charity event.

Lewis Metcalfe and Abi Johnson – who are both apprentices at Bagnalls Group in Shipley – will join forces with painting and decorating craftsmen and fellow trainees to give a Slovenian school a much-needed facelift.

The day-long makeover is part of the 21st International Traditional Humanitarian Painting Campaign hosted by the Painting Section of the Chamber of Crafts and Small Business of Slovenia.

Earlier this year, Lewis and Abi entered the national Apprentice/Trainee of the Year contest organised by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA). Lewis, 19, beat 27 other trainees to the title, which was presented to him at a glittering ceremony in London in July. Abi, 21, was awarded second place in the competition – which she also won in 2018.

Lewis and Abi both study their trade at Leeds College of Building and following their awards success were invited to join Chief Executive Officer of the PDA, Neil Ogilvie, at the charity event in Slovenia.

Mr Ogilvie said: “We value the work our apprentices and trainees do within the painting and decorating industry. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the PDA and I am delighted that our Apprentice of the Year, Lewis and runner-up and former winner, Abi, will be joining me for this charity event.

“The painting campaign is a fantastic opportunity for them to showcase their skills, share ideas and techniques with peers from across Europe and use their talent to improve the day-to-day lives of schoolchildren in Slovenia.”

The international charity campaign is open to members of UNIEP – the International Association of Painting Contractors – and will see painters, decorators and apprentices from 30 countries join forces for a one-day revamp at an elementary school in Ormož.

The school caters for children aged five to 14 and is located near the country’s borders with Croatia and Austria.


The decorating day will take place on Friday, November 29. Lewis and Abi will also take part in a sight-seeing tour, giving them the chance to explore some of the stunning Slovenian countryside and taste local dishes.

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