Distinction Doors has always firmly believed in supporting its local community and this has been perfectly demonstrated in the company’s recent link up with Barnsley College, the sixth form college just down the road from the company’s Tankersley headquarters.

The partnership saw Barnsley College UAL Level 3 Diploma Art and Design students design contemporary doors, including the glass panels, for Distinction Doors’ contemporary range. The project was planned over several months with the Course Leader, Claire Harrison, and developed as a unit titled ‘Distinction Doors Live Brief’. The brief addressed 2D problem solving skills within Art and Design as well as building students’ employability skills. The theme ‘Let the Outside in’ was chosen with specific instruction on designing for a target audience and has become a course module that has been approved by the college’s exam awarding body, the University of the Arts London.

Chantel Roach, Marketing Director at Distinction Doors, said, “We were delighted to be able to support local students’ education and give them the opportunity to work in a commercial environment. We were even more delighted with the quality of the designs we saw which suggests that there are several incredibly talented artists set to take the design world by storm in years to come.

As well as following the design process, the unit also required students to take part in a competitive pitch process. Students presented their designs to two Distinction Doors’ directors, Chantel Roach and David Gomersall, the Commercial Director, as well as to their peer group. Five students were selected for producing highly commended designs and received a certificate of recognition for their efforts. Chantel commented, “Feedback from the students was that the project was incredibly valuable because it gave them important experience of presenting their work in a competitive environment in a way they will need to do when they are employed. It also gave them useful experience to add to their CVs and university applications.”

As a result of the project success, Distinction Doors are working with the College to offer the students work placements later in the year.

Distinction Doors may be the UK’s largest composite door company, but as this partnership with Barnsley College shows, it is still very much rooted in its local community and keen to forge strong links within it.