Posts in Charity

MindSpace Two Years On

MindSpace two years on – A place where people are comfortable to be themselves

February 22nd, 2022 Posted by All, Charity, News

Back in 2019, when Stamford-based mental health charity, MindSpace, was looking for a permanent home from which to deliver its much-needed activities, a team of volunteers from Urban Edge stepped up to help refurbish an unoccupied building on Broad Street in the middle of the town. Two years on, and despite the emergence of a global pandemic, MindSpace is now successfully delivering a range of friendly and safe events from the new Broad Street premises, as well as using it as a space to support people with the skills and confidence to be more comfortable having conversations about mental health issues.

Tom McNamara, Director, comments: “Connecting to the local community and giving something back to the area that has contributed so much to the practice’s success has always been at the forefront of our vision. Helping a local charity such as MindSpace turned out to be a brilliant few days, with everyone just getting stuck in and going for it.”

MindSpace and Urban Edge met at the Stamford Mercury Business Awards earlier in 2019, where MindSpace won ‘Best Social Enterprise’ category and we picked up the prize for ‘Large Business of the Year.’

Reflecting back on it now, Helen Howe at MindSpace, says: “The timing was perfect. Urban Edge approached us as they were looking to help a local charity with a hands-on project and we had this major refurbishment that also needed some expertise on the planning process. Urban Edge worked up some alternative designs for the new frontage and finalised a professional elevation to show to the planners.”

When it came to hands-on work, our team ripped up old flooring, stripped wallpaper, cleared the garden, and redecorated the interior. The design and colour scheme had to deliver a series of flexible spaces to house MindSpace’s range of activities, from training sessions to informal tea and chat to relaxing spaces for one-to-one conversations. The whole space, inside a listed building, had to project feelings of safety and relaxation, welcome and comfort.

Working from the MindSpace members’ brief of ‘everything you wouldn’t expect and not institutional’, our interior design team took inspiration from MindSpace’s logo and the warm brick of the existing exteriors to create a series of rooms, lightly divided with natural timber slat screens, and furnished with comfortable, domestic style furniture. Rich blue highlighted some of the walls, with splashes of deep orange to provide focal points, and soft grey shades connected the interior with the new front and signage.

MindSpace Two Years On

A rich blue highlighted some of the walls, with splashes of deep orange providing focal points

Ian Townsend and Sarah Steinberg were two of our staff who helped over the four days, making good the walls, painting and adding the vibrant colours to make the rooms buzz.

Explains Ian: “The original building décor was a very dismal and worn-out beige, so freshening up all the walls and bringing in the hot colours really made a difference. It was a great experience, doing something different and working with other team members that I didn’t usually get to work with. Whilst it was fun to do, it was also incredibly fulfilling to create something positive for the community.”

Continues Sarah: “Originally I didn’t know much about MindSpace and its work, but helping refurbish the building and talking to the people there brought it home to me how wonderful it was to create a community hub that would be helping so many people in so many ways.”

“The new spaces were an instant hit, providing our members with a constant, familiar, inclusive environment,” confirms MindSpace’s Helen Howe.

With the Broad Street premises now fully operational, MindSpace took the momentous step of signing a full lease of the building in February 2021 and is looking to expand its opening times and put on more activities, as well as opening its doors to other regional health services and organisations to deliver their activities.

Concludes Ian: “I know from my own family experience of mental health issues how important it is to have a place to go where you feel safe and welcome, just to get out of the house, meet people and have someone to listen to you without judgement. It was a very enjoyable few days and in an incredibly short period of time we helped create a community resource that will support others for many years.”

Tom sums up: “As architects and designers we have a set of skills that we can use in any sector, from later living to warehousing, but when we are able to help an active local charity in the vital work they do, it adds an extra level of meaning. Design – interior or exterior – can have a real, positive, impact on the people who use the spaces and it’s exciting to see how MindSpace are taking forward and expanding the help they give the local community.”

For more information about MindSpace and the services it offers, please visit their website.

Ride Across Britain 2019

Urban Edge Graphic Designer Stuart Hill completes epic 980 mile Ride Across Britain

September 27th, 2019 Posted by All, Charity

Resident Graphic Designer Stuart Hill is a keen cyclist and can often be spotted in lycra, before diving into the office to get changed, on his morning commute. This year however, he decided to push himself a bit further and took part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. This involved riding over 100 miles a day for nine consecutive days, starting from Land’s End and finishing at John O’Groats. Stuart was also raising money for Prostate Cancer UK which is our Foundation’s chosen charity in 2019. He successfully completed the Ride Across Britain on the 13th September and has raised a fantastic £2,975! To find out more about his incredible journey and view a gallery of professional images from the event please visit the Urban Edge Foundation website.

Dragon Boat Festival

Urban Edge crew on fire in this year’s Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival!

June 10th, 2019 Posted by All, Charity

Our team of rowers bravely took to the water in June for this year’s edition of the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival. We were ‘silver’ sponsors of the event which was raising money for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice; a charity close to our hearts and one that we continue to support. As well as our sponsorship of the race, we raised an additional £1,000 in donations for our Dragon Boat crew, with a significant contribution coming from Stamford-based building firm, Whittlestone Builders who were our main team sponsor.

Conditions were challenging as it rained constantly all morning! We huddled gratefully under the shelter of our gazebo, drinking hot cups of coffee, waiting for our crew to be called. Having not practised at all, we were a bit apprehensive getting into the boat for the first time. However, all that melted away when the gun sounded and our Dragon Boat sped down the lake to the beat of our precariously perched drummer!

We placed 3rd in the first race with a time of 65.41 seconds. A good start, but we knew we could do better. A little more confident, we lined up at the start of the second heat raring to go. We managed to improve and placed 2nd with a fantastic time of 61.86 seconds! We waited in anticipation to hear our team name as the leaderboard was read out over the loudspeakers. We kept waiting but still nothing, perhaps we missed it, we couldn’t possibly be this high up, but then there we were… 12th place, with one race to go. It looked like we were going to make the semi-finals!

As we headed down the lake to line up for our third race our skipper remarked how well we were doing and suggested that if we leant into the rowing, we could generate a bit more power. Unfortunately, this tactical change proved fatal and lead to a very uncoordinated start resulting in a time of 65.38 seconds. Not disastrous, but the fight for a semi-final berth was hotly contested and we had a nail-biting wait as the rest of the teams completed their third race.

As the results came in, we realised we had just missed out on the semi-finals by a few places. Finishing in a very respectable 15th place. We were slightly crestfallen, but buoyed by the fact that we’d had a fantastic day, despite the weather, and raised lots of money for Thorpe Hall Hospice. Yet, a few days later when the results were posted online; we received the surprising news that we had finished second overall in the mixed-teams category! Jubilant with this news, we look forward to improving our ranking at next year’s Dragon Boat Festival and raising lots more cash for charity.

Please click here to view the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival 2019 results.

  • A huge thank you to our team sponsor Whittlestone Builders
    A huge thank you to our team sponsor Whittlestone Builders
  • Silver sponsorship entitled us to have a our branding on one of the Dragon Boats
    Silver sponsorship entitled us to have a our branding on one of the Dragon Boats
  • Preparing to depart
    Preparing to depart
  • Team huddle
    Team huddle
  • In action in our second and fastest race
    In action in our second and fastest race
  • Our triumphant crew
    Our triumphant crew
Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice - Lights of Love 2018

Urban Edge to sponsor Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice ‘Lights of Love’ concert

November 30th, 2018 Posted by All, Charity

Urban Edge Architecture is proud to sponsor this year’s Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice ‘Lights of Love’ concert in Peterborough. For thousands of people across the area, ‘Lights of Love’ has become an important event in the festive calendar and this year’s concert will, for the first time, take place at Peterborough Cathedral.

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice is the only specialist palliative care inpatient unit in Peterborough and provides expert palliative care and support for people who are living with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families. The ‘Lights of Love’ concert is an opportunity for families to remember and celebrate the lives of those they have lost as well as a chance to raise much needed funds for the hospice, which costs £9,000 a day to run.

Russell Gay, Director of Urban Edge Architecture, comments: “As a local employer with staff drawn from all over the region, we have often been touched directly or indirectly by the care and support provided by Thorpe Hall Hospice. The decision to sponsor ‘Lights of Love’ was easily made and the least we can do to give something back to the community that surrounds our business. The volunteers and staff from the hospice are exceptional individuals, helping people through some of the most difficult times of their lives and they need all the support they can get. We’re expecting 600 plus people at the event and it will no doubt be an incredibly emotional and special evening; one which we are beyond pleased to be able to support.”

This year’s ‘Lights of Love’ concert will hear festive readings from the staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, singing from a local school choir and carols from the City of Peterborough Concert Band. Guests can look at Thorpe Hall’s remembrance books and place their dedications on the Lights of Love Christmas trees.

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice ‘Lights of Love’ concert takes place on 16 December 2018. For further information or to make a donation, please visit the Sue Ryder website.