Following an initial application process, Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson has revealed its chosen not-for-profit projects that will receive support and guidance from a panel of industry experts, as part of a new collaborative initiative to support communities in the region.
The new Local Communities Partnership Programme forms part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to delivering social, economic and environmental benefits to the local communities in which it works, through the SCAPE Regional Construction framework.
Following an intensive judging process, four charitable organisations have been selected to attend an informal virtual, ‘Dragons Den’-style event on 31 March, to discuss their projects in more detail with a panel of industry experts, gaining advice and support.
G F Tomlinson is working with multi-disciplinary construction practice Arc Partnership, a joint venture between Nottinghamshire County Council and SCAPE to deliver the programme which was launched last month.
Perfect Circle, a property, construction and infrastructure consultancy working to create built environments across the public sector and communities in the UK, is also going to be involved in the programme, providing support with the Dragon’s Den-style event.
Applications were invited from not-for-profit/charitable organisations in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Staffordshire, that were seeking construction-based advice and support for a community project.
The chosen charitable organisations include Autism East Midlands – the largest autism charity in the region, providing support and respite to autistic children, adults and their families. The organisation is looking to create new landscaped grounds at one of its residential facilities in Worksop, complete with an environmentally friendly sensory garden fit for autistic individuals and their families who will benefit from the calming environment.
Treetops Hospice – a leading end-of-life care charity in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire – is the second organisation to be selected. Situated in more than ten acres of conservation land including gardens, a meadow and woodland, Treetops wishes to upgrade and rejuvenate its grounds to continue providing a tranquil and relaxing environment for patients, staff members and volunteers. The charity also wants to reconfigure and refurbish its office and backroom spaces to accommodate its growing governance, administration and IT infrastructure needs.
Following the launch of its new initiative – Bhive.community hub, South Lincolnshire Blind Society has been chosen following its application which sought support to remodel, upgrade and refurbish its premises, to provide additional mental health services to the community. As well as supporting people with sight loss, the organisation aims to widen its work by offering a men’s suicide prevention group, skills training for people seeking employment, support for carers looking after people with Dementia, and technology training sessions for blind veterans, amongst other services.
The final organisation to be selected is Forever Stars, a charity that works to provide support and care for bereaved parents who have suffered a stillbirth or infant loss. The charity is looking for help with the second phase of its Forever Stars Serenity Garden – a baby loss remembrance garden, which will be a key resource in helping families come to terms with their loss. Following basic construction which is currently taking place along with planting, Forever Stars is looking to progress with a moving water feature in the garden, to add something truly special, and this will require buildings works and excavation of the area concerned, which is set in a former Victorian Paddling pool.
Following the ‘Dragons Den’-style event, the panel – which will include representatives from G F Tomlinson, Arc Partnership, SCAPE and Perfect Circle – will select one project they can deliver using skills within the team, and will forge a long-term partnership with the chosen organisation, providing an ongoing legacy of support.
The selected project will have access to continual support and advice – including time, resources, expertise and materials, as part of the Local Communities Partnership Programme.
G F Tomlinson has a strong focus on social value and its policy and processes focus on four key investment areas; employment, training and skills; sustainable procurement; environmental protection and enhancement, and community support.
The contractor has always strongly supported local communities and in the last three years has generated £23.9million worth of social value through the SCAPE Regional Construction framework across the Midlands region, and at the start of this year, G F Tomlinson was recognised as a leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR), achieving a Gold standard CSR Accreditation.
Craig Stopper, Regional Construction framework manager at G F Tomlinson, said: “We’ve seen an excellent amount of interest from not-for-profit organisations and charities across the region, and we reviewed so many incredible applications, with all projects reviewed worthy of support as they focused on bringing significant benefits to their local communities.
“Honing this down to four projects was very difficult, and following an intensive reviewing process we feel we have chosen organisations and projects that we can bring real value to, and we are excited to be forging the long-term partnership and seeing what the future brings in terms of benefits to the community.
“Our panel of experts are really looking forward to meeting all finalists and hearing in-depth about the chosen projects at the 31 March event.”
Daniel Maher, managing director, Arc Partnership said: “Not-for-profit organisations play a vital role in supporting local communities, each of the four projects chosen will make a real difference to the lives of people in the region and we look forward to meeting the organisations and learning more about the projects. It’s incumbent upon the construction industry to ensure its activity leaves a strong and sustainable legacy by generating social value.”