A women’s homelessness project, which opened over 40 years ago, has received a much-needed renovation thanks to almost £100K of grants and pro bono work from property industry charity LandAid and building consultants Bowman Riley.
The No.3 project, in South London, was the first housing project set up by homelessness charity Oasis Community Housing, offering support to young women leaving the care system, refugees and other vulnerable young people facing homelessness.
“Many of our residents come from backgrounds of poor-quality housing and No.3 is our chance to raise their expectations and show them how nice a home can be,” explains Jaimee Hendry from Oasis Community Housing, who manages No.3 and the charity’s wider Southwark projects. “As the wear and tear on the property became more obvious, it became increasingly hard to inspire a sense of motivation and pride in residents to keep their home looking good and running effectively.”
The substantial renovation of the women’s homelessness project has taken four years, with delivery of services and works throughout the pandemic.
Bowman Riley became involved in the project through LandAid, following its grant of £70,000 to Oasis Community Housing for the internal overhaul of the Victorian terrace. As the project progressed, Bowman Riley surpassed their original role of principle designer by agreeing and preparing a refurbishment schedule of works, administering a tender analysis, and recommending a contractor, coordination, project management and contract administration – delivering more than £22,000 of pro bono work by the project’s completion.
In recognition of Bowman Riley and LandAid’s contribution to the flagship homelessness project, Oasis Community Housing has presented the two organisations with its highest ‘Shared Value Award’. The charity’s annual Shared Value Awards celebrate and recognise the successes achieved by its corporate partnerships.
Director at Bowman Riley, Caroline Woolley, commented: “We are so pleased to have helped this scheme reach a successful conclusion. The refurbishment will make such a positive difference to women at a time when they really need to be housed and supported. It’s something I am personally passionate about and am proud of my team for helping to deliver their vision.”
Gareth Pettit, the Programmes & Impact Manager at LandAid, said: “We are proud to have been able to support Oasis Community Housing. Seeing the combination of awarding a transformational grant and the direct impact of pro bono support come together to bring this project to life is brilliant. At LandAid we are passionate about demonstrating the value that giving both time and skills as part of a pro bono agreement can really have. It can make a considerable difference to the lives of vulnerable people. This project and the work of Bowman Riley is a brilliant example of this.
“We are also over the moon about the recognition that Oasis Community Housing have given LandAid in the form an award. It will be proudly displayed!”
Damilola James* is one of the 16 residents who had to move out of the women’s homelessness project during the works. She lives in one of No.3’s studio-style rooms, which support residents on their journey towards independent living.
Commenting on the renovation, Damilola said: “The whole place feels nicer, more modern and fresher. The new floor means I can keep it cleaner and I’m now happy to walk around in bare feet! I love my new kitchen too; now that I can cook properly for myself. It’s so much more homely.”