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Homelessness charity gains vital support from Civil Engineering Contractors Association

The Business Magazine article image for: Homelessness charity gains vital support from Civil Engineering Contractors Association
27 February 2023

A Midlands homeless project's mission to expand and open a new location has gained the support of business organisation the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.

CECA Midlands has nominated Birmingham-based homelessness charity Tabor Living as its chosen charity in 2023.

It's a timely boost for the Father Hudson's Care-run project that has operated since 2017 from St Anne's Church in Digbeth offering shelter, safety, and support to people experiencing homelessness.

In March, the charity it is set to open a brand-new location at St Catherine’s of Siena Church that will offer emergency and move-on accommodation for up to 19 rough sleepers.

CECA, a representative body for companies who work day-to-day to deliver, upgrade, and maintain the country's infrastructure, traditionally supports a good cause by raising funds through its annual dinner.

But this year it is going one step further than offering financial support alone by also providing hands-on help and guidance throughout the calendar year.

Lorraine Gregory, Regional Director for CECA, said: “Within the civil engineering sector delivering social value and giving back to society is massively important.

“This is the first time we've named a charity partner for the whole year, after a suggestion from our chairperson Ron Pinfield and the whole organisation agreed.

“Tabor Living is a fantastic project that does an incredible amount of important work in Birmingham and we're looking forward to supporting them throughout the year.”

As well as being the beneficiary of its annual dinner – that raised more than £3,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance in 2022 - CECA is also aiming to support Tabor Living with further charity events as well as contributing to its gardening and outdoor projects.

"We will be exploring what we can do to create a longer-lasting and more meaningful relationship," added Lorraine.

"We will be asking how can we support those further away from the job market and give them opportunities? People on the street looking to change their lives by gaining housing or sustained employment. It will be a central charity for us to support people looking for opportunities."

Tabor Living is managed by a small group of staff, supported by a large team of volunteers, who provide mentoring and befriending, hospitality, and the support to meet guests’ practical needs.

"We’re really excited to have CECA on board," said Jo Watters, Head of Community Projects at Father Hudson’s Care. " As a project Tabor Living has always had strong links with the construction sector. Many people who come to us and use our services gain work or show an interest in the construction field.

"We have a very small team of staff and rely on volunteers to help deliver our services. As well as being on site and supporting our guests in the accommodation, they provide befriending and support to reconnect individuals with the wider community. The support that can be offered our guests can be something as small as going out for a coffee, or supporting them to find somewhere to live.

“If our guests used to go swimming, we take them swimming, or if they went to the football, we can take them to the football."

The soon-to-be opened new facility in the central Horse Fair region of the city will not only provide improved emergency rooms, significantly raise the number of move-on rooms at its disposal from three to 13.

Jo added: "Our move-on rooms bridge the gap between our emergency accommodation and their own accommodation, as that is often quite a big step to make.

"Our guests make a financial contribution towards that and have their own room with an ensuite bathroom and communal kitchens. They receive help with budget planning, and saving for a deposit."

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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