Cambridgeshire Homelessness Jul 2016

Collaboration Creates Lasting Impact in Cambridge

CRASH Patron BAM has taken collaboration to a new level garnering support from fellow contractors to help a local homelessness charity with urgent repairs to their building.

BAM is just one of the many companies working on the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge Development, which will see a new district and extension to the city, centred on a mixed academic and urban community.

The vision for the North West Cambridge development is to create a new district and extension to the city, centred around a mixed academic and urban community.

The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading universities. Renowned for the excellence of its teaching and research, the University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading universities. To maintain its reputation, the university must continue to develop and grow. In particular is the need to address the issues of the lack of affordable accommodation for its staff and post-graduate students and the need to foster research and development.

The need

Wanting to use their skills and resources to support the wider community, BAM brought together a group of companies to help Cambridge based charity Wintercomfort for the Homeless. The group wanted to help the charity address some immediate concerns in their building (Phase 1) and assess the feasibility of extending their building in the future.

The solution

With over 20 years’ experience supporting homeless and vulnerably housed people, Wintercomfort for the Homeless’ building ‘Overstream House’ required urgent attention to enable the charity to continue to deliver services in a safe and comfortable environment.

They have undertaken a number of essential works on a ‘make do and mend’ basis over the lifetime of the building in order to keep the centre running, However, they needed to address urgent repairs and plan modifications to make this building fit for the future. Thanks to the support of BAM and these other organisations, Phase 1 of their plans is now complete.

I’ve seen Wintercomfort at work and it feels very satisfying and motivating for us to divert some time and energy away to help a worthwhile cause.

Shaun Harris

Project Manager at BAM

How our patrons helped

Led by BAM’s Project Manager, Shaun Harris, fellow Patron Imtech undertook a power usage / electrical load assessment and a gas inspection to inform both stages. They were joined onsite by a professional team drawn from Wates, Farrans, Gardiner & Theobald, Keystone Group and Axiom Group who helped with materials and inspections for immediate repairs, as well as establishing possibilities for future building developments.

Keystone Group provided new roof lights for the existing extension, and Axiom Group provided vinyl to replace flooring on the ground floor and basement level.

Gardiner and Theobald produced cost plans for the future extension – and along with Gratte Bros – provided the commercial kitchen design should the plans to extend the building and improve Wintercomfort’s kitchen facilities be realised.

Wates provided pre-construction programming assistance for the future extension feasibility. Farrans assisted with site inspections of the roofing works to the existing extension.

The social impact

From its base at Overstream House, Wintercomfort for the Homeless helps, on average, 65 people a day through its drop in service providing:

  • Hot food, showers and laundry facilities
  • Opportunities to access health services, legal advice and housing support
  • Access to IT, and a range of educational and recreational activities
  • A safe place where people can feel welcome and valued

The charity also provides meaningful employment and volunteering opportunities through two social enterprises, Food4Food and Overstream Clean also run from Overstream House.

Looking to demonstrate your commitment to social impact?

If your company would like to get involved in a future CRASH project, please get in contact with us.

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