A TWELVE-strong team representing businesses across Bolton have made a difference to the lives of deserving cases in Budapest.

An initiative by the Foundation for the Future saw staff from Seddon, Bolton at Home, Salix Homes, MSV Housing, Poplar Housing and University of Bolton embark on a two-week project at a community wellbeing centre.

Not only were they able to renovate a homeless shelter but they were also able to convert an attic space into a classroom over the course of the fortnight.

Josh Hodkinson, a trained plumber from Seddon, was joint team leader on the project, and he was accompanied to Eastern Europe by colleagues, joiner Regan Osborne, and apprentice joiner Jack Burdon.

Bosses there say Regan and Jack were both standout trainees for their intakes, with the former named their 2018 apprentice of the year.

Speaking on his return, Josh said: "The entire team did a fantastic job on the project.

"This facility will be vital for both young people and the wider community in the years to come, and we had a great time working alongside local teams.

"It was hugely rewarding to learn something new, get out of our comfort zones and empower a community to build a better future.

"Nothing could beat the feeling of seeing the team's smiles when we finished the job, and we look forward to participating in the scheme again."

The foundation works alongside charities in Hungary, Romania and Slovenia on a variety of missions, working with vulnerable communities on everything from construction-based efforts to educational and artistic endeavours. Volunteers can take on schemes across the three countries, with the charity's backing.

Jon Lord, chief executive of Bolton at Home, added: "You can see the difference it makes to people participating on the project, with confidence levels and understanding of different cultures improving significantly.

"We have been told many times that the experience can be life-changing for the people involved."