Major Projects Framework partner, Willmott Dixon has teamed up with local organisations in Rochdale including charity Petrus and Touch Wood to create a workshop for local people at a community allotment in the town.
The workshop, in a popular allotment used as recreational space by local schools, hospitals and health care centres, is a new base for base for Petrus Incredible Edibles Rochdale (PIER), an initiative creating confident and connected communities through the power of food. Many of the volunteers at PIER have been assisted by Petrus, a charity that provides support to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
The allotments also provide space for homeless people to improve their health and wellbeing, helping them to engage with the wider community and enabling them to gain skills and experience. Food grown at the allotment is distributed by the local soup kitchen and is a key resource for many in the Rochdale community.
The workshop was constructed by Willmott Dixon to provide shelter from bad weather and allow the Petrus team to plan activities all year round for the local community. Wood donated by Willmott Dixon was upcycled and reclaimed by timber workshop, Touch Wood, to create the workshop.
Rosie McLaren, social value coordinator at Willmott Dixon said:“It’s been a real pleasure working with Petrus and their volunteers at the allotment. The Petrus team couldn’t have been more grateful for their new workshop and seeing the difference it will make to the service they provide is, as always, an amazing feeling!"
Touch Wood commercial director Mike Taylor said:“We were delighted to be invited by Willmott Dixon to use reclaimed timber to build a structure for such a worthwhile project. We were able to work with the volunteers at PIER to design the benches for the workshop, giving them a chance to make their own contribution. The finished workshop is a real team effort, and everyone involved can be very proud of what they have created.”
Roy Down, engagement and development worker at Petrus added:“The fantastic support we have received from Willmott Dixon, has enabled a vision to become a reality. The workshop will not only offer us shelter from the elements but give us a much-needed space for crafts and woodworking. This will allow us to offer a new range of activities on the allotment. It is a game-changer for us, a facility that we could not have achieved without their support.”
Willmott Dixon is currently delivering the Rochdale Upperbanks development (below) which includes 242 apartments and a Hampton by Hilton hotel in Rochdale town centre. It comes after the company delivered the towns central Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development.