Homeless shelter in Sheffield gets grand upgrade

Senior staff member at Ben's Centre and refurbishment project manager Sue Smith
Senior staff member at Ben's Centre and refurbishment project manager Sue Smith

A grand opening of a refurbished homeless shelter in Sheffield has taken place after two years of planning and work.

Ben’s Day Centre for homeless, vulnerable chronic street drinkers and substance misuers, has seen facilities at the Grade two listed building in North Church Street in the city centre upgraded.

Each year, the charity helps more than 190 homeless people with issues including alcohol and drug addiction, homelessness and health problems.

They serve more than 2,500 hot meals and require a purpose-built kitchen and wash facilities.

The refit work included a complete replacement of the existing kitchen, with the installation of cooking and extraction facilities, installation of two new toilets and a shower and refurbishment of the stairs.

Several firms gave their time and expertise free of charge to ensure the work was completed and Ben’s Centre can continue supporting Sheffield’s most vulnerable homeless population.

“Without the free support offered by those involved, Ben’s Centre faced severe restrictions on its services,” said Sue Smith, project manager.

CRASH, the construction industry charity, provided essential funding and sourced building materials to ensure work was done. Sheffield-based Nathan Oliver of Ikonografik Design lead the project on a pro-bono basis and building contractor Goldwing Developments, which has previously been involved in several listed building projects across Sheffield, carried out the construction work. Howdens Joinery supplied the kitchen free of charge.