Yesterday I was privileged to be able to visit New Belvedere House hostel to see at first hand the refurbishment work in progress. Refurbishment is something of an understatement however, as what I saw was redevelopment in full flow. The roof was off and we were able to look down into the heart of the building and get a real insight into both the desperate need for refurbishment of the old ‘lady’ and the construction techniques being utilised to transform the hostel into a truly world class facility.
What was amazing was that the building was still occupied, with builders working
through floor by floor, minimising disruption while maintaining maximum utilisation. It
was immediately apparent that this was a real partnership between residents,
builders and staff, with all working closely together to ensure the success of the
project. Despite the inevitable disruption to day to day life, all parties were
accommodating one anothers needs with understanding and respect. Each group
spoke highly of the professionalism and commitment that was apparent at every
The rebuild itself is hugely inspirational, with no effort being spared to ensure that the
project will be finished on time and in budget. The latest technologies are being
introduced to ensure longevity and to reduce future maintenance costs, while
ensuring that in every respect the new build will be fit for purpose and an exemplar of
what can be achieved.
The professionalism and pride in the project of ‘Junior’ and his team of builders
shone through. The commitment of hostel manager Pat and her staff, working
together with the builders to reduce the intrusion into the lives of residents, was
equally impressive. The residents to whom I spoke, felt involved, respected and
excited by the project that is transforming New Belvedere House.
The highest standards of planning and project management were clearly apparent.
This was reflected in the amazing level of detail being applied to ensure that the new
building would enhance the lives of residents and staff. The room configurations
have been well thought out and designed to meet the needs of future residents; they
feature multiple plug sockets, USB charging points, easy clean, hard wearing
surfaces, robust windows and high levels of ventilation and insulation.
The new training kitchen is an outstanding facility which I have no doubt will prove to
be of inestimable value to those passing through New Belvedere House.
I also had a chance to visit The Old Rectory and see how well it was being
maintained and looked after; everything looked well-loved and as new, albeit a year
after completion. The lasting impression of my visit was of highly motivated
professionals working extraordinarily well together, using the latest technology and
materials that will endure, to provide a fitting home for residents and working
environment for staff.
Col. Paul Cummings
Chairman, Veterans Aid