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A fine gesture – mixed-use scheme specialist offers space to tackle Covid-19

The LABS Collective – an entity comprising of three subsidiaries: LABS (co-working), STAY (residential) and HOST (events spaces) – has revealed that it’s supporting the medical response to the coronavirus outbreak by offering the emergency services extra space. 

STAY in Hawley Wharf, Camden is offering bedrooms within its apartments for those working tirelessly in nearby London hospitals to protect the country.

The apartments, which each have a fully-fitted kitchen and living room, as well as access to much-needed laundry facilities, ‘will provide a quiet sanctuary for those to rest’. A care package with basic provisions will also be offered for free.

This offering will last for an initial one-month period, with a view to extending both the timeframe and the number of beds if the cause needs it.

LABS, in a further effort to help and support the community, is also offering its largest event space, Camden House, plus a number of private offices across its buildings, for the emergency services and critical call centres to use as they need them.

A fine gesture – mixed-use scheme specialist offers space to tackle Covid-19

The 13,000 sq ft of space at Camden House is set to become a ‘common room’ for those on the frontline, with complimentary tea and coffee provided day and night. 

“As a business we talk about how we provide environments for people to thrive and now is our chance to really deliver on that,” Dotan Weiner, chief operating officer at The LABS Collective, said.

“With the current uncertainty surrounding everyday lives, the need for a community hub of facilities and support has become more important than ever. We know the emergency services across the UK are working tirelessly to cope with the increased demands during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and to be able to support by making space and accommodation available is a privilege.”

LABS has also launched ‘Stay-Insider’, a digital newsletter designed to inspire its 4,000-strong community, motivate productivity and promote ways to thrive digitally until a sense of normality resumes.

The company is encouraging its staff to spend some of their working day helping the more vulnerable through initiatives such as AGE UK’s ‘telephone friend’ matching service to combat loneliness for the elderly, as well as connecting with their neighbours through community platform NextDoor.

The LABS Collective is backed by a significant property portfolio owned by LabTech, which through investment and regeneration is attempting to revitalise neighbourhoods to create landmark destinations, ‘directly underpinning the LABS Collective proposition’. LabTech have committed to several further initiatives to support residents local to Camden, as well as tenants.

Yaron Shahar, LabTech’s chief executive officer, said: “London is facing a unique challenge and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help. These initiatives from LabTech provide assistance where it is needed in the community, and we will continue to explore ways we can provide further support at this crucial time.”

In other news relating to Covid-19, leading London developer Galliard Homes has made the decision to close all the company’s building and construction sites across London with immediate effect, with the sole exception of important safety works. 

This decision, the firm says, will help to ensure the health and safety of the company’s on-site staff, and will also remove some 2,500 Galliard construction workers from the London transport network, helping to free up public transport for NHS staff and other key workers ‘who Galliard believe it is essential have priority and safe travel conditions at this critical time’.

Galliard said the company remains ‘open for business’, with its sales function remaining operational and the business continuing to market some 1,000 homes across the capital. The Galliard sales team, working from home, are using video and other technology to market homes remotely to buyers.

The company, which employs over 3,000 people (directly and through contractors), also confirmed that all of its 60 sales and marketing staff are working remotely from home, as are the rest of the group’s planning, personnel, finance and administrative teams who are normally based at the company’s head office. 

Stephen Conway, executive chairman of Galliard, said: “Our business was born in London and we are committed to the capital, but during these unprecedented times the safety of our construction staff, families and our London communities is paramount.”

He added: “We believe that by taking our staff out of daily commuting, we will help to free up London’s transport network for the NHS and key workers who are protecting sick and vulnerable people across the capital. Supporting the NHS and protecting lives is the sole priority at present, our teams can return to helping build our great capital when this crisis abates.”

Don O’Sullivan, chief executive of Galliard, added: “Despite the confusing and conflicting messages from central government and the London Mayor’s office, we are a London business and we are taking this action in support of our world-class superheroes in the NHS, as they take on the fight of their lives to keep us safe. This should be the priority for all of us today.”     

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