A NORTH East organisation that supports ex-service men and women and their families is set to extend its offer, after being supported by a local architect firm.
Veterans in Crisis Sunderland (VICS), a community interest company (CIC) that provides support, training and counselling to former military personnel, is being helped by Building Design [Northern] (BDN), who are providing their time and expertise at no cost to develop detailed plans for an extension to VICS’s premises.
The plans will allow the CIC to make better use of their existing building, creating additional capacity for dedicated community engagement, discussion and socialising. The extension will also deliver a wheelchair accessible entrance from Roker Avenue, as well as a multi-functional meeting space and kitchen, fully accessible toilet and an enlarged office area for VICS staff.
BDN – which is based in Old Simpson Street School at Deptford – is gifting its time, which would normally amount to several thousands of pounds, to support VICS as it develops plans for alterations to its building.
BDN’s Filip Young, an architect at the growing business, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer our assistance to VICS, which is an organisation that does so much for the city’s veterans, who themselves have served the country.
“The alterations we are planning will ensure that people can easily navigate the CIC’s building, and that the premises are absolutely fit for purpose, providing excellent facilities to the people who access VICS’s support.”
BDN is working on architectural plans that are expected to be submitted to Sunderland City Council later this month, and if they’re given the green light, VICS hopes to get to work immediately, with a view to having the extension complete by spring 2023.
Ger Fowler, chief executive officer at VICS, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of BDN to develop plans for our extension, which will transform our ability to support Sunderland’s veterans.
“As an organisation, the support and generosity of people and organisations is key in enabling us to deliver much-needed help to ex-service men and women, so we’re very grateful to BDN for their goodwill in helping us at no cost.”