Elm House, Thetford

A £1.8m project to provide modern, quality emergency accommodation to homeless people in Breckland is nearing completion.

The Breckland Council project has seen Elm House, a former pre-school in Thetford, completely refurbished over the past year. When opened this spring, the service will provide temporary housing to single adults, couples, and families from Breckland district area.

The building work is now complete, and once opened, Access Community Trust will manage the centre on the Councils behalf, residents will be supported to if they seek further services where required.

Access Community Trust team who will be working with residents at Elm House, Thetford
Access Community Trust team who will be working with residents at Elm House, Thetford

The refurbishment works have been led by Cocksedge Builders, who took special environmental measures to ensure minimal waste went to landfill, with waste materials being sorted and, wherever possible, reused, recycled, or used in electricity production. The building has also been upgraded to ensure its more energy efficient.

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of Breckland Council, said: “This major investment into Elm House will mean we now have even more high-quality temporary accommodation support available to some of our most in-need residents in Breckland, including those who have been made homeless or need short-term support while they find a permanent place to live.

L-R - John Read, Partner- Daniel Connal Partnership. Emma Ratzer, CEO- Access Community Trust. Tom Warnes, Site Manager- Cocksedge Building Contractors, Steve Jolly, Contract Manager, Cocksedge Building Contractors, Maxine O'Mahony, Chief Excutive Breckland Council, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of Breckiland Council, inspected Elm House in Thetford before it opened.
L-R – John Read, Partner- Daniel Connal Partnership. Emma Ratzer, CEO- Access Community Trust. Tom Warnes, Site Manager- Cocksedge Building Contractors, Steve Jolly, Contract Manager, Cocksedge Building Contractors, Maxine O’Mahony, Chief Excutive Breckland Council, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of Breckiland Council, inspected Elm House in Thetford before it opened.

“This is just another way we are helping support our residents. We made a decision to ring-fence more than £1m for our Inspiring Communities project which supports survivors of domestic abuse, residents with mental health problems, social isolation, drug or alcohol addictions, or homelessness.”

CEO of Access Community Trust, Emma Ratzer MBE commented: “As our charitable trust continues to bolster it’s community support offering across the Breckland district to those in need, we stand tall and ready to welcome this vital compassionate provision into our portfolio of 12 existing accommodation projects and support hubs across the region, in partnership with Breckland Council.”