I had a nice couple of hours on Friday, attending the opening of a new training centre for the Chapeltown community, in Leeds. A dilapidated building was bought for Latch (Leeds Action to Create Homes), and they have transformed it into a bright new resource for local people.
I was invited because we’d been involved in the work, giving advice and some materials free of charge. I was enthused by the Latch staff commitment to training and giving local people housing opportunities and training, to help them gain employment and reach their potential.
The building had some structural issues, which included a roof spread and lateral restraint problem. Some old modifications were poorly executed and needed attention. There was also an issue with damp and quite a bad ‘woodworm’ infestation too.
Technicians Ryan and Craig did most of our work on this job, which included helibeam bed-joint re-enforcement and stitching work. Latch are keen to use traditional and environmentally acceptable methods, so Probor DB was used for the timber treatment.
The building has natural lambs wool insulation and is plastered out with natural lime plaster. Most of the work being done by volunteers and Latch’s own staff. Brick Tie Preservation were one of a handful of professionals called in to help with more complex tasks.
The opening day was attended by many of the volunteers who’ve worked so hard on the scheme and the finished building is a real gem, and a credit to all involved. The local MP and councillor were on hand and gave speeches, along with Latch’s team. I just couldn’t get the smile of my face all day and I left feeling really upbeat about the future for these young people.
Next time I run a training seminar in Leeds I’m going to hire this building, so if anyone wants a small venue for such meetings you should contact hands on.