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Inspiring the next generation

On the 25th October nine-year-old Leo and his family visited Thermal Road Repairs’ manufacturing facility in Crewe to get an insight into how the specialist road repair units are made. This was Leo’s second interaction with our technology, inspired by his great interest and enthusiasm during a holiday club session organised by Colas, Thermal Road Repair’s partner on the Cheshire West & Chester Term Maintenance Contract.

In August, Thermal Road Repairs managing director Aidan Conway joined Colas’ Social Value and Public Liaison officer Gill Carr, to deliver a workshop at New Images Community Centre for the Winsford Youth & Community Forum to around 18 children who were attending a summer holiday club there. The Forum is a registered charity which works with young people and other members of the local community to provide activities and support.

After Gill talked to the children about road safety and the importance of wearing clothes that make them visible, Aidan explained how the Thermal Road Repairs system worked with an emphasis on its low-carbon environmental credentials. A Thermal Road Repairs crew then demonstrated the technology by repairing two potholes in the drive of the centre while another Colas supply chain partner, L&R Roadlines, showed the children how markings are made on a road surface.

Leo was extremely interested in the Thermal Road Repairs process, which uses a computer-controlled heater to safely raise the temperature of the material in and around a pothole before new, material is added, mixed with existing asphalt and the whole area compacted to provide a seamless repair. The crew also showcased Thermal Road Repairs’ newly developed electric road roller which emits no carbon and makes virtually no noise.

“Leo was fascinated by the process and equipment, and asked so many excellent questions,” reports Aidan. “We were all impressed by his interest and he was invited to participate in the demonstration by measuring the size of the repair for our records.”

Following discussions with the manager of the Forum, Thermal Road Repairs invited Leo, with his parents and younger brother, to visit its manufacturing facility in Crewe. There they learned about the evolution of the Thermal Road Repairs technology, saw how the Iveco base chassis is transformed into a repair unit and Leo had the chance to initiate some of the manufacturing commands using computerised programming.

Leo then worked with the creative team at Thermal Road Repairs’ partner WeDisplay, which is located on the same site, to create and design branding for clothing. These were then printed onto a sports jacket and hoody for Leo, who is a keen footballer.

After lunch in the boardroom, Leo and his family went to watch one of Thermal Road Repair’s crews working on roads near to the office to again witness a repair. “Leo remembered a lot of details shared at the initial demonstration in August,” reports Aidan. “He is just the sort of person that the construction industry needs to attract if we are to fill all the varied and changing roles that it offers. We also see the value neurodiversity brings to problem solving in our sector.”

As well as giving Leo and his family an insight into the variety of roles attached to a company such as Thermal Road Repairs, the visit gave a real boost to Leo’s confidence, according to his mum, Laura.

“Leo needs to be active. He is a bright boy and has a very inquisitive mind but because of his dyslexia often lacks confidence, so it was great to see him so engaged,” she said. “We all enjoyed visiting your factory and meeting so many of your team and we have learned so much. It will help us to encourage Leo to continue working hard at school and to stay positive and motivated about his potential career in the future.”

Gill commented: “It’s important that we support the voluntary community with events like the demonstration at New Images Community Centre as they provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about careers in the construction industry. Witnessing the positive impact of the demonstrations on the children throughout the day was inspiring, and I'm thrilled to see Leo's newfound passion for the industry following the workshop.”


Thermal Road Repairs: Decarbonising the asphalt repair industry.


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