8th Mar 2023|Life at Centrick|News|

Garden project gives homeless chance to put down roots

Homeless people in Birmingham will soon be putting down new roots – learning gardening skills while growing vegetables and salad thanks to a new project by city-based charity Reconnected.

The charity, which aims to help homeless people get their lives back on track through education and employment, is transforming a back yard at its headquarters into an urban green space for its users to enjoy.

Reconnected, which has a residential hub in Lower Essex Street, is supported by property specialist Centrick and has been for the past nine years and also counts Tim Andrews, founder at Hollywood Monster, cofounder of LoveBrum and Non-Executive Director of digital agency Lightbox as one of its trustees . The Hub provides 18 high-quality self-contained rooms, that provide privacy and encourage responsibility. It offers homeless individuals the chance to regain their stability from the safety of the City Hub whilst encouraging independence.

Shane Bland, director of Centrick and Virtu Property, and a trustee of Reconnected, said:

“This is a very exciting and rewarding project which will transform what is currently an underused outdoor area into a green oasis in the city centre.

“Our team will be creating a green space where homeless people using our facilities will be able to learn gardening skills and gain satisfaction from seeing the plants and vegetables grow.”

Shane added: “The cost of living crisis is our focus at the moment and the need for Reconnected has never been higher. We are supporting food banks where we can and we hope that the food we grow will contribute towards that.”

Fred Duncan, Reconnected operations director, said:

“I can’t wait to see the new green space spring to life and to see people enjoying and gaining great satisfaction from gardening, something they may not have experienced before.”

He added: “While our accommodation provision service remains small, Reconnected continues to touch more lives in other ways with help from all our friends and the community. I am conscious that what we do is not on a very large scale but our impact as a charity that serves vulnerable people in the community cannot be underestimated.”

The charity has also launched a new website, created by Birmingham-based digital agency Lightbox. Director PJ Ellis said:

“The people behind the Reconnected project are lovely. And what they are doing is amazing. When I heard they needed a new website, I was more than happy to help them.

“With a little assistance from our developers at Lightbox, I was able to build the charity a website that will allow them another platform from which to amplify their message and mission, and in turn (fingers crossed) encourage more people to support it.”

Visit the Reconnected website for more information.

Centrick are trustees at Reconnected and have been since December 2013. The organisation was incorporated into the register of charities England and Wales in April 2014, and has supported over 275 homeless people. Seven years ago it set up its City Hub in Birmingham where it provides rooms with double beds and ensuite facilities with dedicated housing and reintegration support officers. Supporters include FareShare, Tesco, Asda, and Nandos.

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About Centrick 

Centrick prides itself on being a team of knowledgeable industry experts with a joined-up approach to all aspects of the property sector. Innovation is at the heart of everything it does, helping it to adapt to the ever-changing market. This is all underpinned with a strong ethical code of trust and family values, where the team works as one to deliver exceptional service.

Specialists across both residential and commercial property sectors, Centrick is forward-thinking and agile; always looking for new ways to work flexibly to meet the needs of its clients, using its strength and depth across the property sector. By investing in talent, leading the way on industry practices, developing its technology and systems, it delivers an outstanding service to clients.

Providing national coverage, with offices in Birmingham, Solihull, Nottingham, Southampton and London, Centrick’s services include:

  • Residential sales.
  • Residential lettings.
  • New homes.
  • BTR and Asset Management.
  • Estate Management.
  • Commercial sales.
  • Commercial lettings.
  • Land sales and acquisitions.

About Virtu Property

Virtu Property provides a range of property services including landlord reactive maintenance, property maintenance, cleaning, interior refurbishment and design, window cleaning, caretaking, grounds maintenance and landscaping. For more information visit www.virtuproperty.co.uk.

About Reconnected

With approximately 12,000 homeless people in Birmingham, Reconnected is a charity committed to changing both the perception of homelessness and bringing about permanent improvement for those it can help. Working with real people, Reconnected gets to the root cause of the individual situation, understanding what can be done to resolve their challenges. Established by Centrick founder James Ackrill, Centrick is committed to supporting and raising money for this greater cause.

Reconnected’s primary function is to provide housing, support, employability, and development programmes to individuals. The service is designed to use compassion and human connection to bring hope and opportunities to people struggling with homelessness. Working with each individual, Reconnected strives to provide a fresh start to those that need it, this includes access to everyday facilities such as banking, benefits, healthcare, employment and education.