CRASH, Argent and BAM join forces for Wildflower Garden

CRASH, Argent and BAM join forces for Wildflower Garden

Kings Cross contractors, sub-contractors and supply chain donate their time and materials to the Emmaus Brighton & Hove Project.

Months of development and an entire week of on-site preparation resulted in Argent’s Volunteer Day on Friday 5th September.

The project came about to mark the end of a construction phase at Kings Cross. Phil Sullivan (Senior Projects Director at Argent) and Mick Kelly (Projects Director at BAM) decided they wanted to incorporate something with longevity.

They called upon industry charity CRASH, of which Argent is a Patron company and Director Tony Giddings a Trustee, to source an appropriate volunteering project for 70 people. The remit was to find something that would make the most of the professional skills of the Kings Cross contractors, sub-contractors and supply chain.

CRASH invited Argent, along with fellow Patron BAM, to visit Emmaus Brighton & Hove, a homelessness Community which CRASH has been working with for a number of years. Emmaus offer homeless people a place to live and work, and an opportunity to integrate back into mainstream society. Brighton & Hove is a thriving community, which recently opened a second shop with a café called Emmaus by the Sea, situated close by in Portslade.

“We had a number of projects on our wish list but no resources,” explains Emmaus Brighton & Hove’s Chief Exec Christine Squince. “So when CRASH approached us with the idea of a volunteering project, we were delighted - albeit a little nervous at the thought of having to find meaningful work for so many people.”

The community decided to focus the volunteers’ resources on preparing the groundwork and then seeding what will eventually become a wild flower garden and meadow for visitors to enjoy.

A large room in the main shop as well as a considerable part of Emmaus by the Sea were given a much-needed coat of paint. The shingle outside Emmaus by the Sea was replaced by smart new paving, making the entrance accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, and the café will soon benefit from a new kitchen thanks to the ongoing support of Argent.

“CRASH and Emmaus were integral to the successful organisation of the project and were great hosts on the day. The team had a really fun day working with the Trustees and Companions and were buzzing about their achievements. We’re really looking forward to returning to see how the meadow develops and how the newly decorated rooms are brought back into use.”

The ‘team’ was made up of an eclectic mixture of volunteers from CRASH Patrons Argent, BAM and Aecom as well as teams from Gardiner Theobald, Allies and Morrison, David Eagle, AKT, David Chipperfield Architects, Townshend, Hargreaves Foundry, Hall & Kay, Structal, Severfield, Knight Asphalt and Willerby Landscapes.

Donations of equipment and materials came from CRASH Patrons A-Plant and Dulux Trade as well as Jewsons and Chandlers Building Supplies.

Emmaus Companion Ana said: “We are so grateful to you all for everything you have done. This is not just a shop or a garden; this is a home. More than 40 people live here in this Community and this will make such difference to our lives. Thank you.”

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CRASH is the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless men and women. It is a unique, practical charity which works to address issues of homelessness by harnessing the skills, products and goodwill of the construction and property...
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