Conor aims to make a difference in Jamaica

01 June 2016

Conor aims to make a difference in Jamaica

A Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) quantity surveying student will travel to Jamaica to offer hands-on help with building projects in some of the country’s poorest areas.

Conor McGread, a fourth-year BSc Quantity Surveying student, has received a GCU Magnusson Award, established in honour of the late broadcaster and former chancellor Magnus Magnusson KBE, to provide funding and opportunities to help students and academics in their studies or careers.

Conor will use his award to help improve the infrastructure in Jamaica by undertaking projects such as upgrading the unhygienic pit toilets of primary schools. He will also be assisting in the designing and building of houses for Jamaica’s most poor and those who have lost their homes due to natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Projects Abroad will help coordinate Conor’s stay by finding him a local family to stay with throughout his time in Jamaica. On the building sites, he will be working alongside an experienced tradesman and other volunteers.

Conor said: “This project would not have been possible without the funding of a Magnusson Award. It will assist me in almost every financial factor there is, including my travel to Jamaica, which is not cheap, and other expenditures such as vaccinations and visas.”

Conor will leave for Jamaica on July 4 and will stay in the country for four weeks.

He added: “My GCU programme has helped me prepare for this exciting and rewarding project. Throughout my four years at GCU, I feel I’ve gained certain skills that will enable me to improve the lives of those in most need in Jamaica.

“The Construction Technology module of my programme, for example, was one of the more practical, whereby we learned how a building was constructed from the ground up, along with the various techniques used. I hope that I can use these skills to educate some of the local construction workers to create more robust buildings that are strong enough to withstand the strong wind loads imposed on them by hurricanes.”