Young person lands full time job after helping out with transformation of a hostel for people experiencing homelessness

A north-east based construction firm, Meldrum Construction Services Ltd has created new employment opportunity working in partnership with Changing Lives. Working on their regeneration project, Elliott House, Meldrum offered fixed term employment opportunities last summer.

Jack Moore (20) was given one of those opportunities in July 2020 working as a General Operative for Meldrum Construction. Jack’s initial contract was for 32 weeks which was due to come to an end in March 2021, however due to Jack’s performance he has been offered a permanent role with the company.

Jack commented: “I am thankful to Changing Lives and to Meldrum for this opportunity, it was great to be given a fixed term contract but to be taken on permanently is amazing. The team have been so supportive in showing me the ropes and it has been great to work on the Changing Lives project – I hope this is the beginning of a fresh start and a new career with Meldrum.”

Managing Director of the Meldrum Group, John Davies, said “Jack has taken the opportunity presented to him with both hands. The feedback we have received with regards to Jack’s performance on site has been outstanding and his work ethic and attitude are first class.

“As a company we are delighted to work with Changing Lives to help make a difference to Jack and others. Growing our own talent is something we are immensely proud of which is why we are so invested in opportunities such as these.”

Meldrum Construction Services were appointed as main contractor to deliver their regeneration of Elliott House. The regeneration project was made possible thanks to £2.2m of funding from Homes England and support from Newcastle City Council. The 52-bed hostel which offered short term emergency accommodation for people in crisis housing situations will be transformed into 36 self-contained apartments for those individuals who have experienced difficult times. This will give people the opportunity to live independently within the community, to lead a stable and fulfilling life.

Changing Lives is a national organisation, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. It supports individuals who are experiencing challenging times to make positive change and provides a wide range of support for people from all walks of life.

Stephen Bell, Chief Executive at Changing Lives: “We are thrilled to hear that Jack has been offered a permanent role with Meldrum. Creating opportunities for local people who may be lacking in the skills and experience to find employment was really important to us and we wanted to work with a developer who shared our values and commitment. This follows a great tradition within Changing Lives of providing training opportunities on our major refurbishment projects and Jack is proof that with the right opportunities and support people can thrive.”

“One of the most important lessons we’ve learnt at Changing Lives over the last 50 years is that housing and employment go hand-in-hand in helping someone to change their life. The re-development of Elliott House will allow us to provide everyone living there with their own front door, alongside support to help them achieve their training and employment goals. “

Meldrum has employed over 150 trainees and apprentices over its nearly 20-year history. With its 2020 intake of 7 apprentices, Meldrum continue to ‘grow their own’ talent and have continued with their recruitment programme throughout 2020 and into 2021.

The regeneration project of Elliott House is due for completion in April 2021.