The Banbury 2nd Brownie pack is to pioneer a construction skills badge after visiting a local building site managed by national contractor, McLaren Construction.

The Brownies – 8 girls, aged 7 to 10 years – attended the McLaren site at Castle Quay Waterfront, where they learned about the construction industry, careers in the sector and construction techniques. Following the event, McLaren and Banbury 2nd leaders will apply for the creation of a construction skills badge, as part of the Brownies ‘Skills for my future’ programme.

After a full safety induction, the girls were given instructions on how to dress in full, five-point personal protective equipment before being taken to the construction area on Spiceball Park Road. There, they witnessed the groundworks and piling that will form the foundations for a new retail and leisure complex next to the existing shopping centre.

Seven of McLaren’s site team were introduced to the pack, including community liaison officer Lizzie Plowman, assistant design manager Katherine Brett and site engineer Laura Malone. Each member of the McLaren team explained who they are, their role and what they enjoy about working in the construction industry, before tasking the Brownies with a challenge to build the highest structure they could, using spaghetti and marshmallows.

Commenting on the event, Banbury 2nd Fluffy Owl, Annie Witton said: “It’s been hugely rewarding bringing the girls on to the construction site today. Construction is a fascinating and rewarding industry and our Brownies were able to gain inspiration from the women working on site. They can now understand the importance of health and safety, teamwork and the need for clear thinking to build amazing structures.”

“We will submit an application for the creation of a new construction skills badge based on our activities today and we hope that all of our girls will be able to wear it proudly in the next few weeks.”

McLaren’s assistant design manager Katherine Brett added: “We really enjoyed the site visit with the Brownies today. They asked some great questions and learned a lot about what we are building. Hopefully, they went away from the day inspired by the valuable and exciting careers available to young women in construction.”

“Seeing a new construction skills badge become available to Brownies across the UK as a result of what we have achieved here will make us all very proud and I am sure it will encourage more girls and women to explore routes into the industry.”

The Castle Quay development will deliver a new restaurant and leisure offering for Banbury, anchored by Lidl, The Light Cinema and a Premier Inn hotel. The new development will act as a link between neighbouring sites such as the Spiceball Leisure Centre, The Mill and the exciting Castle Quay shopping centre, improving connectivity within the town centre and ensuring a dynamic evening economy for residents and visitors alike.

Brownies visit construction site