CRASH Helps: Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT)
In 2018 we helped CRASH with a transformation project at Spitalfields Crypt Trust’s Recovery Hub, a drug and alcohol recovery centre with supporting housing accommodation in Shoreditch, London.
Spitalfields Crypt Trust
Spitalfields Crypt Trusthelps homeless people recover from drug and alcohol addiction by providing housing, counselling, training, work experience and employment.
Creating the best possible environment
The charity applied to CRASH for help with renovating its Recovery Hub. Spitalfields Crypt Trust wanted to improve the communal living spaces at their supported housing accommodation in order to create the best possible environment for residents in recovery.
Steve Coles, CEO at Spitalfields Crypt Trust, said; “When we contacted CRASH, we’d been in the building that houses The Hub for over 18 years and it was in desperate need of updating and improving. During this time, demand for our support had grown. Whilst we were still able to provide excellent help and support, we needed a building that would give our residents, students and members the best possible, purpose designed space and facilities.
“You cannot underestimate how important the surrounding environment is for those battling addiction and succeeding in their recovery. Every human’s behaviour is informed and affected by their environment and if our surroundings are pleasant, homely and welcoming, we are more likely to feel safe, positive and have improved wellbeing.”
The Hub is housed in a four-storey building – Acorn House. The top two floors of the building house SCT’s Recovery Hostel which provides living accommodation for men with experience of homelessness and addiction. The first-floor space provides office space for the Supporting Housing and Addiction Counselling teams as well as communal living space for residents. The ground floor of Acorn House is home to SCT’s Training and Development Centre, where vital skills and educational courses including literacy, IT, working with wood, art and cooking take place.
Through the transformation project, CRASH and its patrons helped to make a number of major changes to the layout of Acorn house. This was essential for improving the use of the space, the privacy, and the general feel of the building.
Steve continued: “Privacy and trust are very important to our residents and for cementing a successful relationship with our team. The previous layout of The Hub did not communicate this. For example, on the first floor our staff could only access their offices by walking through communal lounge spaces, this gave residents a sense that they were constantly being monitored and that they couldn’t relax in private.
“Now, thanks to the reconfiguration, staff have their own corridor to access their offices so that they do not need to go through the resident lounges. We have also created a single, larger shared staff room which has helped to improve communication between our Supporting Housing and Addiction Counselling teams, enabling them to deliver an improved support network to residents.”
A larger, modern kitchenette area has also been created in the communal area to give residents space to cook and enjoy meals together. This floor also originally housed a large counselling room, which has now been divided into two separate, sound-proof rooms, providing additional space for residents to receive professional support.
Amongst the many changes made to the ground floor is the creation of a second classroom for SCT’s Training and Development Centre. This now serves as an IT classroom, which had previously been housed in the kitchen. The kitchen space on this floor was also reconfigured and refurbished to create a larger, more modern facility for cookery classes.
Steve comments: “The re-configurative work CRASH undertook has made a real difference to The Hub. Not only has it resulted in the creation of spaces that are inviting and suited to their specific purpose, but it has also enabled us to take steps and put routines in place to help residents build bonds and improve their relationships with other residents and our staff. CRASH’s support has also allowed us to update the décor and furniture. This has meant we have been able to create a more therapeutic, homely setting for residents, helping them to feel confident and safe.
“The work that CRASH and patrons such as British Gypsum have helped us with has made a real difference to The Hub and the services we provide. It’s a very different place as a result of the investment, now offering students and residents more space for training, counselling and relaxation. Together with our longer-term plans we now have a great future ahead to provide the UK’s most effective and compassionate recovery programme.”