Ex-offenders renovate a vacant office block into studios for care leavers
2017 – ground floor client-led fit out
RIBA Work Stage
- Project Lead
- Contract Administrator
8 ex-offenders were trained in the construction of these living studios to help them develop skills and find employment. The vibrant spaces they created are now home to 11 young people leaving the care system for the first time and preparing for independence.
We designed the renovation of this vacant office block in Hamstead into studio apartments. The ground floor is now home to the head office of Spring Housing Association, who provide support for the young people living in the studios above. They help 16-17 year old care leavers into education, training or employment.
One of the driving factors for the building design was ensuring that the building did not feel institutional. Great care was taken in the choice of materials, colours and finishes to give the building the feel of a modern apartment block. The use of a palette of vibrant colours was part of this strategy, making every apartment identifiable and unique. This helps to give the tenants a feeling of ownership over their space, and makes their apartment feel more of a home.
Just as important as the building itself is the social impact of the scheme. As with Midlands Together’s other projects, training is provided for ex-offenders, teaching them new skills in construction so that they can seek full time employment. The scheme has been highly effective, with a number of Midlands Together’s client obtaining full time employment and a zero re-offending rate for those involved.
Find out more about their projects here.
“I’m really enjoying mentoring and supervising, it’s a great moment in my life. I am very excited and grateful to be given this opportunity.”LloydMidlands Together client and site mentor on the Hestia House project
“I feel like there's light at the end of the tunnel now, whereas before I was wandering around in complete darkness.”LukeMidlands Together Client
“Now that I'm doing this [job] I've got something important, so I don't do anything stupid like jump into a car with my mates to do something dodgy.”RemellMidlands Together Client
“It is critical that I stay in work or I know I'll go back to 'other stuff'.”RyanMidlands Together Client
“Work is good - ex-offenders need to have routine after jail and that's what work is.”TacumbaMidlands Together Client