London: Veterans Aid today announced the completion of its Old Rectory transformation, part of the charity’s £7 million New Belvedere House hostel refurbishment project. The renovation of the 12-bedroom facility was completed with the support of Bloomberg volunteers, whose contribution has helped to turn it into a world-class facility.
Bloomberg’s unique community engagement contribution to the New Belvedere House redevelopment project included hands on volunteer work from 757 employees, who collectively donating 3,879 hours over the course of the ten month project.
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Bloomberg volunteers completely renovated the Old Rectory building, which is now fully occupied.
CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy said, “This refurbishment project is a life-changer for many ex-servicemen in need. Although the Old Rectory is just the start of the overall New Belvedere House transformation, it has set a standard that will change the way people think about hostels for the homeless.”
In a partnership between Veterans Aid, Habitat for Humanity and Bloomberg, the former Victorian rectory now features four superbly finished communal flats. Bloomberg employees, some of whom are veterans themselves, participated in every aspect of the building’s renovation, from stripping out redundant equipment and taking down old walls to building new structures and redecorating.
The Old Rectory’s first official visitor was HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 2 June 2016, who met residents and toured the transformed facility.
Bloomberg’s Head of Philanthropy for Europe Jemma Read said, “The Old Rectory refurbishment has been the largest sustained volunteer project Bloomberg has undertaken, and has given us the chance to do something of remarkable scale and significance for our local veteran community. The completion of this project marks an important moment for us in our commitment to support the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and women into civilian life.”
The role of the Old Rectory building is to prepare men moving from single room accommodation in the main hostel for life with more autonomy and responsibility. Its refurbished rooms will continue to form shared apartments where residents take collective responsibility for cleaning, cooking and housekeeping.
In 2015, Bloomberg supported more than 300 non-profits with the support of over 9,800 employee volunteers contributing more than 86,800 hours of service across 56 cities worldwide.