The Come In Youth Resource Centre in Paddington, Sydney, has reopened its doors to at-risk youth after an extensive refurbishment made possible with contributions from the Property Industry Foundation and the skills of Bovis Lend Lease Project Manager, Jo Campbell.
David Leary, who runs the Centre for the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church, says upgrading the Centre had been necessary to allow his not-for-profit organisation to better support local youth from the inner Sydney area.
"We had been raising money to refurbish our old hall for 10 years, and last year I applied to the Property Industry Foundation for assistance," he says.
"I am grateful that the Property Industry Foundation helped out by contributing $250,000 and also provided Jo's services for 18 months, through Bovis Lend Lease. She was extraordinary in her commitment and expertise.
"The centre's renewal could not have gone ahead without Jo to help me manage the project and steer me through all the issues and negotiations, including finalising the design, writing the tender, choosing local builder Barbro Constructions, bringing in other specialists on a pro-bono basis, and overseeing much of the work.
"It has been an eye-opener for me to come across organisations like the Property Industry Foundation and Bovis Lend Lease. They have been champions of our project and have made an extraordinary commitment over the past 18 months."
Campbell says: "David has lived and breathed this project for many years. His dedication, vision and enthusiasm are simply inspiring. I feel privileged to have worked beside him."
The $1.25 million five-month project resulted in major repairs to the building's structure and fabric, a new drop-in activities centre, a mezzanine level, new offices and counselling rooms, and two shops on the ground floor for income.