A Lancashire charity that helps to support homeless young people is able to accommodate more of its service users after a rundown church room was completely renovated, thanks to the BBC’s DIY SOS show and all suppliers who provided donations to this worthy cause.
DIY SOS and BBC Children in Need embarked on a truly challenging build, for the young homeless, whom are supported by local Blackburn charity, Nightsafe. Blackburn with Darwen is one of the poorest Boroughs in the country, there may be dozens of young homeless on the streets nightly. Young homeless people are often overlooked, vulnerable and so very much in need of help. Across the UK tens of thousands of young people are sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation each year – it’s a growing problem that needs addressing.
Luckily, the people who run local charity Nightsafe wanted to make a difference but their current accommodation facility is full to capacity, so they were desperately in need of a new centre. As ever, it was an immense challenge, relying on generous volunteers and kind donations. Thankfully, the build was also supported by multiple faiths, as the trade took on the heavenly task of converting an old church hall, into a brand-new home for six young homeless people.
Nightsafe was launched in 1990 in Blackburn, to help people aged 16-24 who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. Since then, the charity, which has received several years of funding from Children In Need, has helped more than 14,500 young people, taking them off the streets for a combined 42,257 nights, and provided more than 145,000 meals. It also offers a family mediation service and has a day centre.
Its’ work is still sorely needed in the Blackburn with Darwen area and now it has much-needed extra accommodation for young people after the flagship renovation show DIY SOS The Big Build offered to help for a Children In Need special. And Gerflor played its role in the transformation.
Gerflor, an international flooring manufacturer, which has supported previous building projects carried out by the DIY SOS team by donating high-quality flooring, was only too pleased to assist this latest venture after the production team made a plea for help.
The Rev Sheelagh Aston, from St Silas’s in Blackburn, had long wanted to develop the 19th century parish hall as part of the church’s mission. Her dream came true when the producers of BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special contacted the charity to ask if they could help to convert it into suitable accommodation.
How was Gerflor involved?
Several generous companies offered to donate time and materials to the project and when Gerflor, was contacted by contractor Crown Flooring to see if we could help, we were delighted to be part of the journey.
Gerflor donated approximately 270m2 of Creation 55 Dry Back LVT flooring for the main areas, including living space and bedrooms, and a further 16m2 of its Tarasafe Ultra H2O vinyl safety flooring for the bathrooms.
Jason Judges (Regional Sales Manager North West & West Midlands), comments after liaising with the BBC about the project’s requirements: – “Time was the biggest constraint because these types of projects need to be completed swiftly…we provided high performance flooring that we knew could be installed easily and quickly. The installed flooring is proven to be hard wearing in busy environments and the quality is outstanding. It’s the first time I’ve been involved with DIY SOS The Big Build and I am only too pleased that we were able to support this very worthy cause.”
Jason further goes on to comment that he recommended Creation 55 LVT because it is a cutting-edge, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) that looks stylish in both residential and commercial settings. It is extremely hard wearing, yet its resilient core makes it soft underfoot and provides excellent noise-absorbing qualities. Perfect for busy areas, its’ 0.55mm wearlayer and PUR+ matt surface provides natural looking good looks. It is also easy to maintain and has superb eco credentials, being 100% recyclable and sustainable.
The Creation 55 LVT range comprises mineral, wood and textile designs, with five plank and tile size options available, each with structured embossing and four bevelled edges for added realism. For the Nightsafe project, Jason selected Amarante wood-effect because it complemented the designers’ colour scheme.
Tarasafe™ Ultra H2O vinyl safety flooring, with raised embossing and deeply inlaid mineral crystal particles was the ideal choice for the bathrooms. A high-performance lightweight flooring that combines underfoot comfort with the durability needed for wheelchairs, it is suitable for both barefoot and shod high-risk wet areas and is meets HSE guidelines with a rating of ≥36 PTV and is also R11 slip resistant.
“Tarasafe Ultra H2O was the go-to choice for the bathroom at the St Silas project because it has built-in anti-bacterial and fungicidal hygienic treatments, which is good in a shared space such as this,” explained Jason. “It ticked all the boxes when it came to the aesthetic quality, durability and performance.”
Navjot Dhillon, Marketing Manager, Gerflor, said: “We’ve previously donated our high-quality products to DIYSOS projects and we’re delighted to have played our role in making a positive difference to this well-deserving cause and to vulnerable people in the Blackburn with Darwen area.”
The show was aired on 13th November 2019, during BBC Children in Need Appeal week.