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Homeless to benefit from DIY SOS-style refurb work in King's Lynn




Refurbishment work has been carried out by a Lynn-based company to provide “a safe environment” for vulnerable people to rehabilitate.

Staff at Mars Food UK have been working on Astwell House on Gaywood Road, a shelter for the homeless, as well as those who have struggled with drug, alcohol and domestic abuse.

Mars secured funds to replace the entire kitchen, cookers, fridges and tiles over the last six months.

The Big Build Project for Astwell House on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn
The Big Build Project for Astwell House on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn

And last week, volunteers and staff at Mars joined B&B Engineering workers for three days to carry out further work at the site.

The project leads were Jamie Hudson and Pip Burch with the latter having a family member who required help at Astwell House.

Mr Hudson said: “Mental health or other issues can effect anyone at any time, it doesn’t discriminate.

From left are support workers Emma and Kevin Thompson with project lead Jamie Hudson
From left are support workers Emma and Kevin Thompson with project lead Jamie Hudson

“So to leave a place that people can feel safe, cook healthy food and just be together has to be a fantastic cause.”

Astwell House is run by Notting Hill Genesis housing association.

Mr Hudson added: “With regards to the kitchen we simply wanted to provide a new modern kitchen, where the residents could cook.

“This forms part of their life skills coaching in preparation for residents to go back into mainstream housing.

Pictured in front from left to right are Jamie Hudson (project lead), Emma Thompson and Kevin Thompson (support workers)
Pictured in front from left to right are Jamie Hudson (project lead), Emma Thompson and Kevin Thompson (support workers)

“Eight months ago we went to Astwell House and painted the kitchen, but when we left, we felt this wasn’t enough.

“As we all know, the kitchen is the heart of the home so that’s why we hoped to provide up-to-date facilities to give them a chance to come together and cook.”

Howdens, a UK kitchen supplier, has donated £1,000 for the project and provided a discount for the new kitchen through their grant scheme.

Bespoke Norfolk fitted the worktops, Optima King’s Lynn supplied kitchen splashbacks, Doddfrey Engineering supplied labour for three days and KLEE Electrical rewired the kitchen free of charge.

From left are support workers Kevin and Emma Thompson with project lead Jamie Hudson
From left are support workers Kevin and Emma Thompson with project lead Jamie Hudson


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