Coventry Homelessness Feb 2022

CRASH’s new Planned Preventative Maintenance Survey is instrumental for the future of homelessness charity Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire

We are pleased to announce the successful completion of our new Planned Preventative Maintenance Survey (PPM) service. CRASH identified the need for this service after noticing that many charities apply to CRASH for help when a building requires emergency repairs, sometimes with serious consequences, impacting their ability to deliver essential services to the people they support rather than planning ahead for maintenance and improvement works.

The first beneficiary of a PPM was Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire. Emmaus offers homeless people a fresh start in life with the support of the community around them. They can stay as long as they need. Some remain for only a few months to get themselves back on their feet before returning to independent living, but for others, Emmaus will become their permanent home.

For almost 30 years, Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire has offered much more than just a bed for a night, instead formerly homeless people and people at risk of homelessness are provided with a home. All residents, who are known as Companions work full time, and there is work for everyone. Their social enterprise which is a charity shop in Coventry provides a commercial setting where Companions can learn new skills in a friendly atmosphere. Companions also help collect bulky waste on behalf of Coventry City Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council. All these activities help the charity to continue by raising vital funds.

The need

Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire applied to CRASH for help with their Old Vicarage site, a late 16th century Grade II listed building which is home to 18 Companions. They wanted to improve the living conditions for Companions and the working environment for staff.

A condition survey in 2019 identified some remedial works; however, it was a light touch survey focusing on immediate health and safety requirements so Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire approached CRASH for help with a comprehensive listed building condition survey to assess:

  • Reconfiguration, upgrading and refurbishment requirements
  • Energy efficiency
  • Specialist water and waste, drainage, electrical and gas provision

The aim was to identify current ‘big ticket’ maintenance items requiring urgent or short-term attention and longer-term maintenance issues, including costs and potential due dates. All recommendations had to reflect the Grade II status of the building. The charity needed advice on a considered investment programme and budget required for the next five, ten and 30 years.

The solution

CRASH Corporate Patron Arcadis stepped up to the plate, conducted a comprehensive listed building condition survey, and produced a PPM report to identify and prioritise issues. Some of the immediate issues which were identified, and which have now been completed were:

  • One of the four tall brick chimneys was leaning considerably, which had become a serious health and safety issue. Because the house is Grade II listed, the recommendation was that the chimney had to be taken down and re-built without delay.
  • Due to various cracks visible in the external render, the report recommended further investigation. Fellow Corporate Patron Cundall undertook a structural survey to identify the extent and likely cause of the cracking in the gable end wall. The report recommended using a masonry repair technique called crack stitching, to be undertaken by a specialist contractor.
  • Leaks from showers and washbasins, dampness in a bedroom and standing water in the basement pointed to drainage issues that required further investigation. CRASH supporter Sumo undertook a CCTV drainage survey. The report recommended a number of repairs.

The PPM survey set out a prioritised programme of repairs and upgrades, which are now underway. Some of the bathrooms have been renovated as part of the drainage works. Corporate Patron Geberit generously donated sanitaryware for two of the bathrooms and CRASH supporter Altro provided discounted flooring. Work on the remaining bathrooms has been scheduled. Fellow Patron Dulux Trade donated paint for redecoration.

How CRASH Corporate Patrons helped

The Planned Preventative Maintenance survey for Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire is a great example of the new CRASH service offered to homelessness charities and hospices. CRASH Corporate Patrons Arcadis and Cundall donated professional services and expert advice. Fellow Patrons Dulux Trade and Geberit donated products and materials to complete the works. Supporters Altro provided discounted flooring and SUMO Services completed the CCTV drainage survey.

The support provided by CRASH and our Corporate Patrons and supporters saved Emmaus £34,868, this included:

  • £9,168 worth of donated professional services and products from CRASH Corporate Patrons and supporters
  • £17,700 grant awarded by CRASH, made possible by the generous donations from the construction industry through fundraising
  • £8,000 restricted donation from CRASH Corporate Patron Taylor Wimpey

The social impact

“The initial survey of the Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire Old Vicarage building funded by CRASH, and the subsequent repairs and upgrading have had a great impact on improving the living conditions of our community. The Old Vicarage is at the center of our work to prevent homelessness and the improvements mean we will be able to continue this work knowing the structure and facilities we provide are well maintained, thanks to CRASH.”

Julian Price

Chief Executive of Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire

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