Work done by Lewisham Homes, United Living and Michael Dyson Associates to install new cladding and improve fire safety at Hatfield Close and Gerrard House in New Cross is bringing benefits to the wider community, thanks to funding for social projects included in the contract.
About £1.5m has been provided for contributions to events and projects for people in the local area. Several of these focus on children and young people, including a post-16 options evening for young people in Deptford and five CV workshops that have taken place at Deptford Green School. United Living have also been speaking to local schools about entering them in a hoardings artwork competition.
Another focus of the projects is training and skills development for local residents. Contractors have provided resources for the refurbishment of the New Cross Skills Centre, which will be completed in the New Year, and the Cyber Cafe, now open to residents. Also provided have been online certificated learning, a new apprentice administrator role, and training weeks including construction site hoist training. Funding has also been used to restore a community garden and provide digital skills training for residents of our sheltered living schemes.
Local business has also been supported through £1200 towards the Lewisham Changemakers Pitch Night, where residents could pitch for funding for their new social enterprise start-ups. A workshop to encourage women into roles in the construction industry was held in January 2020, with further events to follow in future. You can find out more about the workshop and its impact in this case study.
Lewisham Homes and United Living have also been making sure that we are providing meaningful opportunities for consultation and feedback for residents of the blocks, providing extra rewards where necessary. As well as last year’s Christmas event and this December’s ‘Meet the Contractor’ session, complete with children’s Christmas card competition and prize draw for attendees, residents have also been able to pick the cladding design for the building and check our new video for tips on how to stay safe in case of fire. Goodwill payments have been made to residents facing higher heating bills as a result of the works, the most recent being this autumn.
To see the progress of the works so far and the plans for the next stage, please visit our project page.