The Big Green Build

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About the Big Green Build

Just the Job is a dynamic, inventive charity and social enterprise supporting adults with a wide range of abilities in practical, work orientated therapeutic activities. Established in 2005, Just the Job has grown and developed steadily over the last 14 years. We have rapidly filled our present accommodation which is spread over 4 locations throughout Richmondshire, all of which are on short term lease.

Planning permission has been granted for a new facility all on one site supported by Zetland Estates with a 50-year lease. The project will incorporate specialist rooms for activities, fully accessible toilets with changing equipment, multi-use outdoor areas and a horticultural project. This will allow Just the Job to broaden its provision, supporting more individuals from the local community as well as increasing the opportunity for joint work with other local projects and schools. Just the Job will also be creating new employment opportunities as we develop these new services. Ultimately giving a more sustainable future for the organisation.

The ‘Big Green Build’ is a pioneering project for the local area, incorporating solar panels, green roof, reed bed water filtration, timber frame construction and straw bale insulation. We need to raise £600,000.

Just the Job have recently produced an information leaflet that is available to download describing the project in detail and offering the opportunity to make a donation of money, time or materials. We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to get involved and have an incentive scheme for businesses, groups and individuals to gain recognition.

Impact

The Big Green Build will make a difference by:

  • Enabling more people with disabilities to access our services
  • Promote inclusion and integration by bringing people together
  • Create more opportunities for volunteering
  • Widen the programme of activities we offer both for service users and wider community
  • Opportunity to develop skills which support people into or back into employment
  • Provide a facility for community groups
  • An exemplar for sustainability, environmental operation and green technology

The new building and gardens will be a step change in terms of the facilities to support the Work Team Members whilst also providing the opportunity for the wider community to get involved with the work of the charity and be a learning resource for all. The facility has been designed to accommodate workshops both inside and outside and this will expand the ability to offer a wider range and the frequency of events. Heritage crafts, gardening and landscape maintenance skills and handcrafts are currently offered in a limited form and have proven popular with community groups; however, the current premises and split site prevents expansion or wider participation. We plan to create a dedicated outside area for heritage crafts and bush craft activities where we can encourage schools to visit, establish a green woodworking group and run experience days. We have an unused Rocket Composting Machine that requires a new home where garden waste and vegetable waste can be quickly turned into good quality compost for our gardens, we currently have to transport all our garden waste from the gardening service to the recycling centre 5miles away. This will help reduce our carbon footprint, time and costs.

The gardens are a key aspect of the new build alongside improved facilities and the community learning potential

Presently the ability of Just the Job to provide experiences and meaningful activities for people with more complex needs is limited by the current premises that we occupy. Toilet and changing facilities are limited and the potential for conversion and adaptation is not an option due to significant spatial constraints. The Big Green Build will provide a fully accessible environment including the gardens and a dedicated disabled toilet meeting the requirements of the Changing Places scheme. These facilities will be open to the public, providing the only registered facility in the Richmondshire District. On seeing this planned provision North Yorkshire Adult Learning has expressed an interest in using the new building to provide a service in Richmond for young adults who currently travel fifteen miles to attend their current service.

The benefits of the New Build from an occupational therapy perspective will support existing, new and future Work Team Members, no matter what their difficulty or disability. They will continue to be supported in a safe, happy work-related environment, but one which will grow with them for years to come. We currently structure our interventions around practical work skills and have informal agreements to progress some of our Members into work placements. We have outline plans to develop a training programme for power tools with a supported employment element attached. The BGB will allow us to bring this plan to fruition and further establish our role as a key organisation in supporting vulnerable people into work.

Community Involvement

The build process will be complemented by workshops and training in woodworking, straw-bale building, green roof construction, landscaping and horticulture. These will be provided by contractors, partner organisations, universities and the local colleges. There will be opportunities for day-release where specialist sustainable skills can be gained alongside a ‘learning by doing’ approach for volunteers and the Work Team. At the end of the process it is envisaged that more local people will have the core skills to take on their own community building projects.

Participatory planning of the gardens

The gardens and growing area will provide a long-term community resource expanding the outreach of Just the Job through plant and produce sales, gardening workshops and volunteering opportunities. It will provide an attractive space for relaxation for the workforce of the adjoining trading estate that has few facilities and for the wider community to enjoy.

The Big Green Build will have meeting spaces for hire to community groups at an affordable rate and flexible spaces for wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation.  We have engaged with the Community Building and Village Hall Network as part of our project development in order to learn from others, share our experiences and understand how our BGB will complement and enhance the community facility offer in Richmondshire. Our gardens will merge into a new community woodland to be planted with 950 trees for the 950th anniversary of Richmond Castle allowing more opportunities for community cooperation. For example, the local Scout group travel 7miles to use a bush craft site, our new facility will be 5 minutes’ walk away.

To find out more and to get involved please contact us.