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The Big PNE Sleep Out: Two Years On, Housing First Scheme Nears Completion

15 November 2021

Ron Ashley, Project Manager, and Jeff Marsh, Chief Executive of The Foxton Centre.

The Big PNE Sleep Out: Two Years On, Housing First Scheme Nears Completion

15 November 2021

Two years on from the Big PNE Sleep Out at Deepdale, The Foxton Centre’s renovations of a property in Preston to form two one-bedroom apartments as part of its Housing First scheme are nearing completion.

On Friday 15 November 2019, more than 300 people slept overnight on the concourse at Deepdale, braving the wintery conditions to raise vital funds for The Foxton Centre, a charity supporting vulnerable residents of Preston with issues such as homelessness, addiction and mental health.

A total of £91,000 was raised from the event, with all funds going to the Housing First scheme, which develops run-down properties in Preston to provide secure accommodation for those looking to break a pattern of homelessness.

Those funds have now been utilised to renovate the house, which was purchased last year and is situated in Ashton-on-Ribble, into two separate places of furnished accommodation, having initially been a three-bedroom terrace in its former state.

The two one-bedroom flats – both of which include their own kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living space – will be utilised by The Foxton Centre to provide accommodation for homeless people identified through its outreach work in the city.

Alongside the sizeable funds generated, a number of generous local businesses, individuals and suppliers donated their time and expertise in the transformation of the property, all of whom are listed below.

Kitchens were provided by Howdens, white appliances from Appliance Technology, flooring from Clean Cut Carpets and sound testing from Redfan Solution.

  • Electrics: Nigel Vale
  • Central Heating Systems: Martin Fox Ltd
  • Plumbing, bathrooms and kitchens: Anthony Bradley
  • Plastering: Sean Lee
  • Joinery: James Fletcher
  • Double glazing, brickwork and waste removal: Dave Ball
  • Painting and decorating: Anthony O’Neill
  • Plans and drawings: Stuart Barnes
  • Roof repairs: John Jackson
  • Miscellaneous expenses and costs: Donation from the Screwfix Foundation
  • Property sourcing and project management: Ron Ashley

Ron Ashley, project manager of the renovations, said: “During the property transition, we have had several hurdles to overcome.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the availability of tradesmen due to lockdown, occasionally causing tradesmen to isolate. This has caused knock-on effects in terms of timescales when one trade is relying on the other to complete their task.

“The Suez Canal obstruction in March 2021 also caused massive delays in sourcing materials such as plaster boards, timber and electrical cables.

“I can safely report that all of these issues are now behind us and we are now on track to complete the transformation of the property into two one-bedroom apartments by December 2021.

“This is thanks to all the efforts of the tradesmen who have worked on this project, while not forgetting the 300-plus who attended the Big PNE Sleep Out in November 2019 and raised the funds for this project to go ahead.”

The Big PNE Sleep Out saw Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Biffa and Blog Preston come together with The Foxton Centre to organise the fundraising event, coinciding with The Foxton’s 50th anniversary in 2019.

With renovations set for completion promptly, a further update on the property upon its completion will follow in due course.

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