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  • Luke Johnston

EXCLUSIVE: Calderwood House - Nearly There!

Pictured L to R are: Rachel Holliday Company Founder and Director and Jo Booth, Director.

Calderwood House is near completion thanks to the 'care and dedication' of Jacobs Stobarts.

A £343,000 homeless hostel will be completed this week after work began in March to convert the former Egremont Police Station into a 'place of change' which is Calderwood House 'creating 10 new jobs for local people'. The police station formerly stood empty after the police moved to nearby Whitehaven police station.

Residents will need to sign a contract, which will pledge them to take part in community events, work experience, cleaning, cooking and training. They will also be vetted before entering the building, the building which will be staffed for 24 hours a day will also be an alcohol and drugs free zone.

Rachel Holliday, Company Founder and Director told us "after experiencing homelessness in my teens and after years of working in the homeless sector it became clear to me that we where in desperate need of such a facility in West Cumbria."

"I am a solution focused thinker and see solutions rather than problems. I am also very passionate about improving the community I live and work in and making it a better place. The progress on this project has far surpassed my expectations. The team I have been a part of (Jacobs Stobbarts, Day Cummings, Time To Change, Copeland Borough Council and the office for the Police and Crime Commissioner) have been fantastic and have worked really hard together to keep this project on budget, on time and have ensured the work has been completed to a very high standard. Calderwood House is a prime example of what can be achieved when all parties work together."

She added "We welcome local residents into Calderwood House to see the work we do on a daily basis to change peoples lives for the better. We are asking local groups and businesses to consider supporting us with fundraising events and do display our donation collection boxes."

Rachel wants to extend her thankyou to Jacobs Stobarts for their 'hardwork' and 'dedication' to this project.

Part of the income for the facility comes from the residents rents which is supported by corporate sponsorship. The rest of the income raised is through social enterprise and funding.

A huge thanks to their sponsors so far who are: GMB Union, Cumbria County Council, Esh Group, Sellafield Ltd and especially to Unite Union who have sponsored 3 rooms! Rachel said "We still have 3 rooms left to sponsor if any local groups or businesses are interested.

Rachel added "My vision is for Calderwood House to be totally self sustainable with no reliance on public funding. I am very confident that this will will be achieved in the next few years."

Jo Booth, a company director told us " There has always been a historic need for a homeless hostel in our area. We are proud as an organisation that we prioritise ex service men and woman.

Both the ladies added "We are very exited about our interviews which will be taking place this week. We have had an overwhelming response. We are also very proud to be committed to the living wage."

Please browse the images of the near completion hostel below:

One of the many rooms completed to a high standard.

A skylight in one of the rooms.

The hallways and stairs used to get to other rooms.

A disabled room for people with mobility problems.

Company Founder and Director Rachel Holliday with Jo Booth, Director.

Through to the modern kitchen space.

The view to Dent from one of the rooms.

One of the colour security cameras in place to ensure maximum security.

The rooms have a modern feel.

A typical room, all en-suite.

Rachel Holliday and Jo Booth.

From outside.

Hard at work.

To get in touch please email: Rahcel Holliday, Company Founder and Director on:

All images, story and quotes (C) to Visit-Whitehaven - part of Enjoy-Cumbria. August 2015.

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