Child Dynamix is a charity working with 6,000 children and young people in Hull and the Humber who are growing up in difficult circumstances every year.
It offers services and support to families facing issues such as alcohol or drug addiction, domestic and other forms of abuse, or if a parent or sibling is in prison.
Although it has other premises locally, the charity’s youth club base in Preston Road, East Hull, is called The Hut and includes a training kitchen, activity and social space, and meeting rooms.
The charity wanted to extend the single-storey Hut by 150sq m to create more space and reach out to more children and young people, while including larger areas for the services it provides and an IT space.
While the extension needed to be completed, there were several challenges to overcome while the work went ahead, including parking. Logistics needed to be taken into account and the extension needed to be built up to the boundary of the site, which restricted access.
Sewell Construction built the original premises in 2008 and has a long-standing relationship with the charity, completing modifications of the building at various points over the past decade.
The charity wanted the extension to look and feel part of the existing building and Sewell was appointed to carry out the extension following a period of negotiation.
The project was unique as Sewell supported Child Dynamix with applying for funding for the extension from the Big Lottery Fund, which was above and beyond the work the team was contracted for.
Working with the charity and the architect Chris Gowers, who also worked on the original building design in 2008, the team created a design to suit the budget in line with the funding.
This was a testament to the strong working relationship the team had formed with the charity over the years and they went the extra mile to ensure they could provide the maximum amount of support possible.
Before work began, the Sewell team arranged for the original supply chain to work on the project as they knew the layout of the building and the requirements for the extension.
The Hut is close to residential properties, the team also sent letters to local residents to inform them of the project and what to expect over the coming weeks. This provided them with a point of contact should any issues arise, or they wished to discuss the scheme.
The closure of The Hut during the project was discussed at length before work began, with the charity communicating the details to end users and Sewell supporting the messages with signage to notify of the temporary closure.
Footpath closures needed to be planned in advance to enable to team to work up to the boundary of the site, which mea
nt temporary footpaths had to be installed for members of the public.
Plans were also put in place to make the building more environmentally-friendly, including installing a more economical boiler and upgrading all lights to LED.
Although the project did not require out-of-hours working, noise, dust, delivery times and parking were all discussed at length before work began, ensuring disruption would be kept to a minimum throughout.
Fencing was also put in place to protect nearby trees while work was underway.
End users were shown how the extension would look and the difference it would make to the charity through designs and images from the architect.
Key milestones in the project included:
- Start on site
- Ensuring ground beams for the extension were filled as quickly as possible for health and safety reasons
- Making the building watertight for shut down over the Christmas period
Sewell sent out fortnightly newsletters to key stakeholders to ensure they were regularly updated on the project and provided with images of progress on site.
The Child Dynamix team made regular visits to the site while work was ongoing and progress meetings with the Sewell Site Manager ensured the scheme was on track and any variations were factored into the programme without any problems.
The Sewell team ensured the handover process was detailed and the charity team was given training on the new facilities.
The project was delivered on time, on budget and without any accidents or health and safety issues.
Local labour working on The Hut reached 95%, with 10 subcontractors used throughout the project.
More than 30 operatives were involved in the delivery of the project and one mechanical and electrical apprentice was part of the team through the supply chain.
Local spend also hit 95% while only 5% of waste went to landfill.
The Sewell team utilised space within the existing building for the site cabin and welfare facilities, saving on additional costs and energy on-site.