Image: Hub Manager Rachel Key (left) and Virginia von Malachowski outside Tyler House, courtesy of Park Lane Public Relations
The doors have opened on the new Stratford Samaritans Community Hub thanks to funding from Stratford Town Trust’s Community Challenge and pro bono work from Corstorphine + Wright.
Tyler House, in the town centre, has been transformed to provide flexible, high quality office and event space for both Samaritans and other groups and charities.
The ground floor of the building comprises a large main space ready to welcome groups, a boardroom and small private offices, together with kitchen, toilets and disabled facilities, including a lift. Private, relaxed spaces have been created where members of the public can speak to Samaritans in confidence.
The first floor includes further offices, as well as ‘hot desks’ – available at £10 per day with fast Wi-Fi.
Stratford Samaritans has around 90 volunteers working four day-time or night-time shifts a month. They also carry out outreach work, in Stratford’s schools and at Warwick Hospital.
They were one of three local organisations to receive funding from Stratford Town Trust’s Community Challenge and were awarded £420,000 to fund the project.
“It is a wonderful environment which will allow us to grow our volunteer base”, said Virginia von Malachowski, who has been a Stratford Samaritans volunteer for 12 years and was one of the team who submitted the winning CommYOUnity Challenge bid.
“We are over the moon with every aspect. The project was aspirational but already it has become reality – it is actually more than we could ever have hoped for. We are doing exactly what we set out to do – bringing people together, acting together, making cross referrals.
“We want to give huge thanks to Corstorphine + Wright for providing their services to us for nothing, saving us so much money.”
Chris McCurtin from Corstorphine + Wright said: “We are incredibly proud to have worked with Samaritans on this project, especially as several other parties have also agreed to offer their services pro bono; it means that we can all work together to give Samaritans, and Stratford, the best possible building to serve the local community.
As a practice, we do our best to support local charities and a project such as this serves as the embodiment of our attitude. Samaritans and their supporters do fantastic work and so it makes everyone at our company feel immensely happy that we could, in some way, help to continue this for years to come.”