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J Tomlinson and Riverside recognised for positive customer impact at NHMF 2021 Awards

February 2, 2021

A new Manchester-based homeless service specially created for the LGBTQ+ community has won J Tomlinson and client Riverside the ‘Best Customer Impact’ title at the NHMF 2021 Awards.

The service, which is the first of its kind in Manchester, was set up by housing association, Riverside, as part of Manchester’s A Bed Every Night (ABEN) initiative, which aims to provide short-term accommodation for rough sleepers in the region.

Based on the outskirts of the city, the building was originally a disused townhouse. J Tomlinson was appointed by Riverside to undertake a major refurbishment project that would transform the derelict building into a halfway house containing six self-contained one-bedroom flats for individuals aged 18 and over.

Scope of works

Works undertaken by J Tomlinson included the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms, installation of CCTV, heating upgrades, LED lighting, new front doors, window repairs, replacement of mechanical and electrical services, and hard landscaping.

The project was inclusive of significant remodelling works to the building’s ground floor area, comprising creation of a manager’s office, kitchenette and toilet facilities for scheme staff.

Homeless crisis: creating a safe place to be

As one of the largest providers of homelessness services in the UK, Riverside takes a person-centred approach when it comes to creating accommodation for rough sleepers. Taking into account psychological and emotional needs of service users, the organisation is committed to designing Psychologically Informed Environments that are adapted to promote a sense of comfort and wellbeing. In this instance the housing service has been adapted for people identifying as LGBTQ+, helping to ensure their needs are better met.

The service opened in the week before Christmas and was completely occupied during the festive period.

The homeless crisis in Manchester was the core driver behind this project, with figures published by Shelter in late 2019 found that Manchester had the second-highest rates of rough sleepers in the UK.

In addition, a study undertaken by the Albert Kennedy Trust, revealed that over 24% of homeless young people identify as LGBT.

J Tomlinson and Riverside have worked together since 2017, undertaking improvement works across individual properties as well as supported housing, sheltered and retirement living schemes.

Quote from Ant Newton – the power of partnerships

Ant Newton, managing director of J Tomlinson’s regeneration division, commented: “We’d like to congratulate all winners and finalists of this year’s NHMF Awards!”

“We’re so proud to be recognised for our shared commitment to changing and improving lives. This award is testament to the huge benefits that excellent partnerships can have on individuals and communities. We look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with Riverside and our other clients to create and leave a lasting impact across the housing industry.”

Quote from Riverside

Eleanor Watts, Area Manager at Riverside said: “Throughout the work, J Tomlinson was invested in providing the best service to our new customers. They also provided welcome packs for people who were rough sleeping identifying as LGBTQ+, which was extremely appreciated prior to Christmas.”

Judges’ comments

The project was praised by judges who described it as ‘fantastic’ and ‘unique’ in ‘tackling head on the inequality that exists with respect to the LGBTQ+ community.”

About the NHMF Awards

Now in their eleventh year, the annual NHMF Awards recognise best practice within the housing sector, celebrating projects and organisations that have “excelled in improving the quality and efficiency of the services they provide.”

Founded in 1994, the NHMF is the social housing sector’s leading source of good practice in the fields of maintenance and asset management, and is widely considered to be the ‘centre of excellence for improving property performance’.

The awards took place virtually on Thursday 28 February during the NHMF annual conference, and welcomed attendees from across the housing industry.

For more information about the annual NHMF Maintenance Conference and Awards, please visit https://www.nhmf.co.uk/awards/

J Tomlinson, which was founded in Nottingham the 1950s, works primarily across the Midlands, Yorkshire and Northern and Central England.

The company provides a range of sustainable building solutions including refurbishment, repairs and maintenance, engineering services, extra care construction, renewable energy, and facilities management, working across a range of key sectors including extra care, healthcare, blue light, social housing and local government.

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