We recently submitted a planning application to Westminster City Council on our proposals for 217 Harrow Road. We want to learn from the building's past to help us inform its future and recogonise the important role the building has had in shaping lives in Westminster. Through our ‘recollections of Harrow Road’ series have been taking some time to reflect on the history of this building and the area surrounding it. In this week’s blog we speak to some past St Mungo’s staff members about the need for a new facility at this site.
A challenging environment
St Mungo’s has been at 217 Harrow Road for over 30 years and has seen the area undergo many changes. The building is over half a century old and is in need of modernisation.
We hear from St Mungo’s staff on the challenges of the current space and why the redevelopment is much-needed.
Julia- ‘From my time spent at Harrow Road as Service Manager, what I can tell you is that the building was not fit for purpose. On the whole I loved working there but the upkeep of the building was never ending.’
Jason- ‘I worked with some fantastic staff and management over my time there, and I am so glad that the building is getting a big overhaul. The family deserves it and needs it.’
Tom- ‘There’s no getting around the fact that the physical environment at Harrow Road is far from an ideal place to run a therapeutic and recovery-focused homelessness service. The Harrow Road team always went above and beyond to make the place feel like home for our clients, and to be able to achieve that in such a tough environment makes them all St Mungo’s superstars in my eyes! I look forward to seeing what the next chapter in Harrow Road’s long and illustrious history has in store.’
Architect practice, AHMM, has been working hard on designs for the new building at 217 Harrow Road and through our continued consultation with the community we have learnt more about the local area. All of the intel gathered through our conversations with the local community has played a part in shaping the design of the building.
The new design for 217 Harrow Road will provide flexible space to support St Mungo’s clients on their recovery journey and will accommodate support services that have a mix of uses. This mix of new accommodation, high quality move on units and flexible space will significantly help St Mungo’s and Westminster City Council address homelessness in the borough.
In the below video James Ryan, Chair of the St Mungo's Client Advisory Board, talks about client involvement in the proposals for Harrow Road and how he used his experience of living in a night shelter to provide key information on the project.
To find out more about our plans for the future of 217 Harrow Road, visit our website.