Double celebration for Shiloh

Published Friday, 21st July 2017
Double celebration for Shiloh
The Shiloh launch, from left to right: Mark Geldard, Fortem Director of Operations North; Andrew Chambers, Mears General Manager; John McDonnell, Shiloh Chairman; Cllr Chris Read Rotherham Council Leader; Pat Keenan, Mayor’s Consort; Cllr Eve Rose Keenan, Mayor of Rotherham; Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham.

Shiloh Rotherham has received a quarter of a million pounds from the Big Lottery Fund to boost the support they give to local people experiencing difficulties in their lives - just as the doors open to its newly-refurbished building.

The announcement was made at an official opening ceremony of the old Weighbridge building on Station Road, with Rotherham’s Mayor Cllr Eve Rose Keenan also unveiling a special plaque commemorating Shiloh’s 25 years serving the local community.

The facility has been made possible thanks to a unique partnership between Rotherham Council, Fortem and Mears, who all played a part in ensuring Shiloh’s new home is ready to support clients.

The facility will provide support to vulnerable people who are going through a difficult period in their lives, including homelessness, by providing them with the life skills needed to get back on their feet.

Meanwhile, the Big Lottery funding will enable Shiloh to expand its work, as well as help the organisation provide around 20,000 meals a year.

John McDonnell, Chairman for Shiloh, said: “We are so grateful for the huge amount of support we have received from the Council and its two main housing contractors Fortem and Mears, and for the support of other businesses, churches, charities and the general public. With their help, the old Weighbridge has been converted to become perfectly suited for Shiloh’s work.

“With the additional funding provided by the Big Lottery Fund we will be able to expand the support we give to our homeless and vulnerable guests in the future.”

Sarah Champion MP said; “I’m so proud to be the Patron of Shiloh. Every time I visit I’m struck by the kindness and compassion the volunteers show all the visitors. I am delighted that they have now secured Big Lottery funding so they are able to support more people in the town.”

Rotherham Council Leader, Cllr Chris Read, said: “This building will make a big contribution to creating better connected communities, something that is the key to building a better Rotherham. With its improved facilities, people will feel even safer, secure and more welcomed, so that Shiloh’s guests can tap into the support networks that can help people get back on their feet and therefore improve their health, education, and employment prospects.

“We know that people with extensive networks are more likely to be ‘housed, healthy, hired and happy’, and this is exactly what we want to achieve here in Rotherham; people interacting more and generating a greater sense of community spirit.”

Fortem undertook extensive works to the electrics, refurbished the toilet blocks and re-commissioned the heating system, including the installation of a new boiler.

David Coldwell, General Manager of Fortem Rotherham, said: “Our work in the communities of Rotherham brings us in contact every day with those who are less fortunate. It has been a pleasure helping Shiloh update their new premises, which will enhance the wellbeing of the residents who use the building and provide a lifeline for those experiencing hardship.”

Mears also undertook extensive building and structural works to help transform the premises.

Andrew Chambers, General Manager of the Rotherham branch, added: "We are proud to have been part of the transformation of Shiloh’s new premises and their continuing journey in supporting local people who find themselves in need.

“We have huge admiration for Shiloh’s work and look forward to continuing our work through our partnership with the Council to leave a lasting legacy in the community."

Members of the public are invited to visit the new building and learn more about Shiloh’s work at the official 25th anniversary celebrations on Saturday, 22 July, from 11am to 3pm. Refreshments will be available.