The charity we will be working with is Nightsafe, based in Blackburn, which supports homeless people aged 16-24. Nightsafe provide a day centre, an emergency night shelter alongside three supported housing projects. Over the last 30 years since Nightsafe was founded they have helped 14,750 young people by giving practical support including food, laundry, showers and life-skills training. They are supported by many local volunteers, residential volunteers as well as permanent staff. We will learn from Nightsafe real human stories about homelessness and help Nightsafe tackle the sitgma against homeless people.
To find out more visit:
Posted 10 Mar 2020 09:18
you can check out the amazing work our collaborators nightsafe do on the recent BBC television show DIYSOS the big build for Children in Need from November
it features the charity along with the incredible DIYSOS, Children in Need, St Silas and the and hundreds of selfless volunteers from across the north west and country who helped create a new facility to provide supported housing for six young people from the area
Posted 12 Mar 2020 10:02
the supported housing facility that was created features individual dual level rooms with en-suite for 6 young people along with accessible staff and communal facilities, staff room and sleeping area, garden space with planting to the rear and a huge lounge with cosy fireplace and large bright kitchen space for everyone to enjoy with ample facilities like a laundry room and utility.
the building was an old under used parish rooms which pre-date St Silas church next door. The generous community from St Silas donated the building for re-purpose and to help out those in need. The building also sits in a conservation area and within proximity to the listed church. It was interesting to see that during the war the parish rooms was used to house refugees and in its later life the building is continuing to serve the community in housing those most in need of support through the work undertaken by nightsafe. The parish rooms were redesigned and repurposed for the DIYSOS team by conversation architect Jill Cowgill, architect Eleanor Wood and Sally Lofthouse who are all local to the area and hugely enjoyed working on the project and getting it planning permission and completed for this worthy cause

For more information about the project visit:
Posted 17 Mar 2020 09:10
During our two-week events program B.Arch students will have the opportunity to visit the Nightsafe offices, activity day centre and shelter located in the centre of Blackburn Town Centre in the Boulevard building.

We will take the train from Manchester for a whole day trip on Friday 1st May. Nightsafe's day centre is called Platform 5 due to the close proximity to Blackburn train station.

During the trip we will be introduced to the staff and facilities, we will then give a short presentation on what we are doing and what we have learnt so far during the workshop week. Following a lunch break we will host architectural-craft based workshops, such as building paper straw sky scrapers, pasta bridges and more. We will provide refreshments and get to intreat with the hardworking staff and volunteers at the charity and the users of their services.
We will be spoil into teams to help organise the event and document the activities during the day, including recording conversations, photographing interactions and making a vlog for Nightsafe.

We are really looking forward to this hands on and interactive day and know it will be great fun and a success for everyone involved!!
Posted 21 Mar 2020 11:26

What is social value? And why is it so important?

As budding architects and designers we have a responsibility and influence through our work that is far reaching and long lasting.
We can often get bogged down with profit margins, providing efficient designs to commercial developers and loosing that connection with the people who will inevitably inhabit the spaces we have designed. These people will turn our lines on paper into their homes, offices, spaces to chat, spaces for activities, spaces where memories are made.

The introduction of humans turns space, into place.

It is with this in mind that we must consider if we can make a bigger difference or impact through our architecture, by creating extra spaces that provide value to the society around which our building or interventions are located.

RIBA stated in 2018 that:
"Social value has become the holy grail for the profession."

Through this events program we hope to reinforce the importance of the added value we can try to install through our working practice to benefit occupants and communities.

We will provide social value through hour work with Nightsafe and this will hopefully benefit all the students involved too. Making them consider how we could take this out into the world of work and throughout our continual architectural education.
Posted 21 Mar 2020 12:55
We will be conducting interviews with members of the nightsafe community for students to convert the stories into visual representations, using photos, key words or phrases and illustrations. This will ensure a wide range of skills are engaged and built upon.

Our concept is loosely based on the humans of New York series which is now a global internet phenomena. It was started by Brandon Stanton, a photographer with a blog, telling the stories of people he met through street photography. It has now expanded, he has released books, has a world wide following and has been able to travel around the globe documenting stories in different countries and raising money for countless charities along with way!
Posted 22 Mar 2020 17:52