Builder joins forces with local mental health charity to support Herefordshire residents
A local builder has come to the aid of one of Herefordshire’s best-known charities to help bring their vision of supported accommodation into reality.
Contractor Speller Metcalfe has joined forces with local mental health charity, Herefordshire Mind, to help realise their vision of developing a dilapidated residential property into accommodation, and helping to expand their ‘Housing in Mind’ programme.
The charity supports anyone faced with mental health challenges that needs their help, providing several community services including community groups and activities, counselling, business support and training and their residential service, Housing in Mind.
This programme provides access to accommodation for people who may require ‘a little extra practical and emotional support to maintain and sustain a tenancy’. Currently this includes a range of bedsits and shared flats in Hereford, supported by an on-hand mental health team, seven days a week.
Herefordshire Mind’s Housing Manager, Lizzy Smith said: “Good Quality supported housing is vital to mental health recovery, supporting people to learn the skills to manage and live well with a mental health problem and to live full and independent lives.”
With an increasing number of people seeking support from the charity, they decided to invest in an existing residential unit to expand their portfolio of accommodation.
However with increasing costs, the price tag had been a barrier to getting the project underway, which is where the Speller Metcalfe team – who are currently on site delivering a new Day Case Surgical Unit for minor surgeries at Hereford Hospital – decided to step in.
The contractor has helped the charity by removing all costs associated with labour, including calling on their suppliers to come to their aid free of charge. This has saved almost 50% of the project costs, which now only includes materials such as windows, roofing, bathrooms, flooring and kitchens.
Asking the team what made this project stand out, the response was simple: “Of course supporting any charity can only ever be a positive,” said Adrian Speller, technical director at Speller Metcalfe.
“However Herefordshire Mind is something that is close to our hearts – the construction industry has one of the worst rates of suicide, alongside 1 in every 4 workers suffering from a mental health problem. We are trying to do our best to raise awareness, but also put our words into actions by helping those who need us most, and as a local contractor, there is no better place to start.”
Works to the property include stripping it back to its shell, updating all services such as electrics and plumbing, remodelling the inside and fitting out the accommodation to create two separate bedsits.
Alongside Speller Metcalfe, Hereford-based Advanced Joinery Group will be supplying replacement windows and Neptune Building Services are providing mechanical expertise – both free of charge – alongside material donations from Travis Perkins.
Herefordshire Mind’s Chief Executive, Alicia Lawrence, said: “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Speller Metcalfe, Advance Joinery and Neptune Building Services for providing the skills, materials and labour to enable us to refurbish our Coach House into two high quality, much needed, supported housing units for Herefordshire People living with mental health problems.”
The project, which started this September, is due to complete before Christmas.
Pictured: Representatives from Speller Metcalfe’s Hereford Hospital team, Herefordshire Mind – including CEO, Alicia Lawrence – Neptunes Building Services and residents of the Hereford in Mind service