Hostel’s £100,000 grant to help homeless gain practical skills

A hostel for homeless people in Oxford has been awarded more than £100,000 for the building of a new workshop, providing residents with valuable construction training and improved career opportunities.

Dominion Housing Group’s Simon House hostel in Oxford city centre has been granted £115,000 from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) just months after it was awarded £1.2m for major refurbishment works.

The carpentry, plumbing and electrics workshop extension will give residents the opportunity to train for a career in the construction industry and the possibility of working towards a qualification with nearby Oxford & Evenlode College.

Dominion’s refurbishment contractors Leadbitter – along with other local building companies will also be involved in the running of the workshops and will seek to recruit potential construction workers from the courses.

Nick Yeeles, Chief Executive of Oxford-based Cherwell Housing Trust, part of the Dominion Housing Group, said: “The securing of this additional funding demonstrates that the ODPM are thinking very highly of our plans for refurbishing Simon House.

The new workshop will encourage the residents to make positive use of their time by participating in engaging training courses. It will also dovetail with new staff procedures and policies at the hostel, allowing us to be more proactive with residents in getting their lives back on track.”

The refurbishment works will start in October 2005 and will be completed by the end of April 2006.