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Swan Housing Association uses empty units at Laindon Shopping Centre to provide free work space for local charities

Swan Housing Association is committed to living its social purpose every day - that means providing homes and services to those who need them.  As an example of this work, Swan recently welcomed six charities into some of the currently vacant units in the Laindon Shopping Centre at no cost to the charities.

The 1960's centre, which Swan are redeveloping into a brand new high street, Swan office, modern health centre and homes, currently has a number of vacant units which could be used for more worthwhile causes, whilst regeneration plans are finalised.

After partnering with national charity Centric Community Projects, which helps registered charities and non-profitLaindon charities organisations by providing free work space, Swan were delighted when a number of charities came forward in the hope of securing one of the units.

Each of the charities were offered a unit without charges for rent or rates. Swan are also paying their utility costs (up to £500 per quarter) to ensure that great use can be made of this space for the benefit of the local community, whilst detailed plans are drawn up for Swan's planning approved scheme.

The six charities that have moved into the units are:

Luke Riley, Project Director for Swan and the Laindon Shopping Centre redevelopment said:

"We are committed to the regeneration of the Laindon Shopping Centre and whilst this work in on-going, with hoarding going up on-site and enabling works beginning in the coming months, it seemed fitting to make use of the empty units. We are grateful to Centric Community Projects for finding such great charities to move in, as they not only support the Centre, but also the local community, which as a local landlord we are passionate about."

Julie Ion, Chief Executive and Director forCentric Community Projects said:

"Centric Community Projects were delighted to be given the vacant units in Laindon by Swan Housing Association. Six charitable organisations now benefit from the provision of free workspace within this charity hub. There are many charities out there who are really struggling to deliver their services due to the lack of public funds and grants that are available to them. We only wish that more landlords would donate their empty premises over to us so that we can help the many other charities that are struggling."

Alison Cunningham from The Listening Post C.I.C, who recently moved into the centre commented:

"We at the Listening Post are extremely grateful to Swan Housing and Centric Projects for coming together and enabling us to have a base at Laindon Centre. By being at the Centre, we are able to offer counselling services directly to the local community, ensuring accessibility to everyone, whilst raising awareness of Mental Health issues. By having the different local organisations within the centre, it has given the centre back to the community whilst bringing a new buzz and life back into the centre."

 

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