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Architectural Technology students volunteer in the community at Emmanuel House

Final year BSc Architectural Technology students from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have taken time out of their studies to work with local charity Emmanuel House on a refurbishment project.

Emmanuel House is a small independent charity based in Nottingham city centre which offers open access support and essential services to vulnerable people in the area. The centre supports around 70 vulnerable people each day, many of whom are homeless, providing hot food and drinks, an opportunity for people to shower, rest and access clean, dry clothing.

A group of eight students have volunteered their time over the past two months to work on the renovation of the centre’s bathroom facilities. Students were able to apply their degree throughout the conception, planning and design stages of the project. Organising initial consultations with the charity, students were able to gage the scope and opportunities available before outlining their approach. The group then surveyed the property, drafted designs and estimated costs for the development. They engaged with local suppliers to source materials needed for the project, harnessing the support of the wider community.

Three potential designs were created by the students, who presented each one to Emmanuel House staff and centre users. The presentations allowed beneficiaries the chance to provide general feedback on the designs in an open platform. The feedback collated on the day will inform the final project proposal over the coming weeks.

The university has an established relationship with Emmanuel House. Students regularly volunteer at the centre in different capacities, donating their time and efforts to support the charity and its users. The contribution of the students involved in this project will be greatly valued in the refurbishment of the city centre site.

Denis Tully, CEO of Emmanuel House Support Centre, said: “Students and staff in NTU’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment are making a huge contribution to the development of Emmanuel House and more importantly to improving the dignity of people who are vulnerable and homeless. Our toilets need serious improvement and using their knowledge and skills they have offered us a number of options to improve our facilities.”

“As well as a couple of visits to survey the project, students and staff came to Emmanuel House to consult with beneficiaries about the plans. This was an enlightening occasion for all concerned; beneficiaries were able to contribute their ideas and students had the opportunity to see the value of customer feedback. There was a real buzz in the room. The project is nearly complete and we look forward to the final design so we can push on with the next stage.”

Vince Conway, Senior Lecturer for BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology, said: “Emmanuel House do a fantastic job of supporting vulnerable adults in Nottingham. Working with the staff and centre users was a great opportunity for the students to pass on some of the knowledge gained during their studies.” 

“The scope of the students involvement meant that they were able to participate on a voluntary basis around their normal study commitments. The University has a vision for community engagement and this is a great example of students taking some responsibility for enriching aspects of society within Nottingham. We look forward to future voluntary possibilities with the centre.”



Architectural Technology students volunteer in the community at Emmanuel House

Published on 15 February 2017
  • Category: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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