Sussex-based construction company Willmott Dixon has teamed up with students from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College to refurbish a church in Hove to create 29 supported accommodation units for homeless people.
St Patrick’s Church, which is located on Cambridge Road, will be run by YMCA DownsLink Group and the Churches Night Shelter Project and includes 29 short-term homes and a 365 day a year night shelter for up to 15 people. The charity provides homeless people, who have a range of support needs, with opportunities to gain qualifications and training and help towards more permanent arrangements.
Willmott Dixon’s team, which is currently redeveloping Greater Brighton Metropolitan College’s Pelham Street site to provide the new Centre for Creative and Digital Industries, is donating all materials required to refurbish the building during the eight-week project. As part of this, under the supervision of Willmott Dixon, students from Greater Brighton Metropolitan’s construction and trades course will be volunteering their time to complete the required work.
Russell Miller, Director for Willmott Dixon in London & South, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with YMCA DownsLink Group on this incredibly important project and helping to create a support network for homeless people in the Brighton community. The new accommodation will make a huge difference to those who are struggling with homelessness and provide them with the confidence and encouragement to build brighter futures.”
Chas Walker, CEO of YMCA Downslink Group, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Willmott Dixon on this project, which will directly impact the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our community. Providing us with the materials to complete this refurbishment will have a significant impact on our bottom line which is crucial when budgets are so tight. We’re also delighted that students from Brighton Metropolitan College are volunteering their time to help us, as it demonstrates just how much the whole community cares about homelessness in our city.”
Nick Juba, CEO of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, added: “Homelessness is an issue affecting so many people in our local communities, regardless of age or educational background. The College’s purpose is to help individuals from all walks of life to unlock their potential and transform their lives. We already work closely with the YMCA, but this is a fantastic hands-on opportunity for our construction and trades students to put their developing skills to use.”
The night shelter at St Patrick’s Church is due to open in March 2020.