CRASH Patrons show how engineering is vital to help homeless people

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meets CRASH Patrons at Emmaus Greenwich 

The Emmaus community support people who have experienced homelessness by providing them with a home and meaningful work in a community setting. This helps people regain their self-esteem and find a positive way to move forward with their lives. 

Emmaus Greenwich is one of 29 Emmaus communities across the UK.  The charity provides 24-hour care and support, accommodation and work for 33 formerly homeless people in London known as ‘Companions’.

The accommodation at Emmaus Greenwich used to be a children’s home, built in the 1960s, which has been subject to significant extensions and alterations over the years. The building required significant mechanical and electrical upgrade work. 

Giorgio Salmistraro, Community Manager at Emmaus Greenwich, explained why the work is so important:  

 ‘‘We have started doing a lot of small repairs which aren’t solving the root of the problem. The Companions deserve a stable and positive living environment which begins with the water running as expected through their shower and taps. All of the Companions have been homeless living on the street for a long time and it is demoralising that they are not able to use the tap in their own room sink.’’ 

CRASH invited their Patrons Cundall and Imtech to come to the rescue. Cundall donated their professional expertise to the project. They surveyed the domestic water services, producing a report which identified the issues and recommendations for repair, surveyed the kitchen extract system and produced a specification for all required MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health) refurbishment works. 

CRASH Patron Imtech led the construction phase of the project. They removed an existing disused water tank, re-lagged pipework and removed redundant kitchen ductwork (which extended into neighbouring rooms thus freeing up much needed space for the charity). Imtech also installed a new ductwork system and undertook gas modifications and new electrical installations for the kitchen extract and finally, installed a new water tank.

CRASH awarded Emmaus Greenwich a grant to help with the project. 

The total value of support from CRASH and Patron companies came to £80,658.

Tony Bradbury, Chief Executive at Emmaus Greenwich said:

‘‘We are so grateful to CRASH for delivering this project which has made a huge difference for Companions here at Emmaus Greenwich. I would like to particularly thank CRASH Patrons Cundall and Imtech for generously donating their time and professional skills to the project. The team were so dedicated, and the project would have been impossible without their incredible support.’’ 

Becky Holt, CRASH Marketing and Communications Manager said: 

‘‘What a difference this project has made for the Companions quality of life at Emmaus Greenwich. The work undertaken means the building now provides a safe and modernised home for the Companions. We cannot thank our Patrons Imtech and Cundall enough for all their support on the project and for helping people who are homeless in this way.’’