The Belvidere Family Centre in Toxteth provides emergency accommodation for homeless families and on Friday 26 August it celebrated 10 years since its £3.6m refurbishment with a party for residents.
The centre, a former Victorian convent built in 1870, provides 16 self-contained apartments for homeless families, with support in place to help them rebuild their lives. The accommodation is provided and maintained by Torus, whilst the centre is jointly managed by SHAP and Whitechapel Centre, with colleagues from both organisations delivering accommodation-based housing-related support 24/7.
Torus Support Network is providing the celebrations buffet with the Torus contractor, LJ Integral Services, kindly gifting the children an Xbox complete with controllers, games, gaming chairs and new television, with the Torus Assets Team helping to install new picnic tables which have been purchased by the centre.
Torus Operations Manager Supported Housing and Domestic Abuse, Charlotte Stenhouse, said, “Belvidere is a beautiful bright building with a special atmosphere. A safe space for families when they are in need. Colleagues there provide vital support to families and it is a real positive that Belvidere Family Centre provide a service to those families who are impacted by homelessness.
“At Torus, we are proud to be supporting Belvidere on their 10th Anniversary and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
Torus Assets Team, Complex Buildings Operational Manager, Paul Lowe, added, “The Torus Asset team are committed to making improvements to our supported living schemes, like Belvidere.
“The on-site staff do such an amazing job for the families, especially the children, and we wanted to help them to celebrate this milestone, so we were thrilled when our contractor, LJ Integral Services, donated the gaming equipment and we hope they really enjoy their new Xbox.”
Talking about the refurbishment and its green credentials, Paul, continued, “The inside was completely demolished and rebuilt with an extension, only the façade was left with the original features as it is located within a conservation area. It has an eco-friendly design, with solar photovoltaic panels that generate electricity.
“It has heat pumps which absorb heat from the air to provide heating and hot water. A mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system minimises heat loss, reduces energy consumption and improves the building’s air quality. Plus, thermostats are fitted to each room to regulate temperatures and all windows and doors are energy efficient.
“Also, more than 60% of communal water used in the centre is harvested from a rainwater collection point on the roof.”
The centre provides support to residents to prepare for the transition to independence and permanent housing by helping the families to develop independent living skills and supporting the families to identify any barriers to being rehoused such as rent arrears, anti-social behaviour.
The families are also supported practically to explore the full range of appropriate and realistic housing options, register on Liverpool’s Property Pool system and to learn about the local area where they would choose to move.
Belvidere aims to promote independence and empowerment by developing resilient communities, and offering support to clients with the prospect of working towards a brighter, stronger and more positive future.
Referrals to Belvidere are via Liverpool City Council Housing Options service, you can find out more about the centre here