At Seymour Place, we support 100 homeless people every day. The number of rough sleepers has increased by 169% in the past 8 years, so our work is needed now more than ever. Real support takes time and space, and this is what Seymour Place provides. In the mornings, we give a mixture of short and long-term help including food, showers, clothing, and access to NHS facilities. We help our clients to rebuild confidence, nurture their skills, and support them into work and stable secure accommodation.
For the rest of the day, our building is unused when it could be serving the community. We want to engage the community by making it more inclusive and accessible, hiring rooms to local groups and business. We will have a pop up restaurant in our café, a temperance bar, events that celebrate Seymour Place's heritage and art exhibitions. We will future proof the space and make it a vibrant, creative space for the whole area rather than separating homeless people from their local community.
What we'll deliver:
- A feasibility report & concept design to enable pre application discussions with Westminster Council & Historic England
- Undertake full much needed surveys of existing building
- Engage the Marylebone community in project plan - residents, businesses, commuters and schools
- Accessibility audit of existing building and proposals
- Outline cost plan to inform construction works and future business plan
Why it's a great idea:
We will address needs that have not yet been met, including supporting gambling addicts, facilitating women's groups and tackling long-term unemployment.
Our building will bridge the gap between some of the richest and poorest groups in Marylebone, creating social cohesion in divisive times. We will bring together local residents, schools, churches, businesses through our creative, dynamic hub, offering events with wide engagement.
Our holistic service for homeless people will develop into a more effective platform for getting people off the streets with more employment avenues through our temperance bar. We will improve the experience of visitors, giving clients a safe and calming environment in which to rebuild their lives.
Our building will be returning to its origins, Built in 1873, it was home to Emma Cons, founder of the South London Dwellings Company and the Old Vic. Seymour Place will restore this unique mix of philanthropy and temperance tavern to Marylebone once again!
Steps to get it done:
- Commission a measured survey and asbestos survey to understand the constraints of the building
- Heritage impact study to tell us how the building and services can improve without impacting the Grade II-listed fabric
- Undertake a feasibility report to tell us how plans can be built, planning issues involved and estimated build costs
- Instruct the design team to develop the proposal to a coordinated concept stage
- Create a full RIBA Stage 2 report
- Prepare pre-application drawings and visualisations for a formal meeting with Westminster Council and Historic England
- Engage the community – residents, businesses, charities – with further events and workshops
We will provide education, training, and employment opportunities for our clients to help them become self-sufficient. Seymour Place will have retreat space in the basement, offering opportunities for 1-to-1 conversation. We will improve access for disabled people, allowing all who need help to find it. Our service users often have mobility issues so this will be life changing for more people. Our support will offer real impact, helping deal with the root causes of homelessness rather than the effects. Seymour Place will follow sustainable business model where on-site job training provides income for clients and revenue to fund future services. We will provide emergency accommodation for those in need of urgent shelter. We will host regular focus groups with local associations (Baker Street Quarter, Marble Arch BID, Paddington partnership) to identify the needs of the local community and respond accordingly through partnership working.