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Business leaders gather to open hi-tech games room for the homeless

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Around 150 people gathered to celebrate the opening of a new hi-tech games room for homeless people in Birmingham.

Leading business representatives joined staff and customers for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the games room and new computer suite at Washington Court, a homeless service run by Trident Reach the People Charity.

Washington Court, In Washington Street, offers support and short-term accommodation for homeless people. It has space for 98 customers and helps around 1,200 people a year.

Businesses in the area have rallied round to support the scheme, with Sue Perveen, of the nearby Deli Box, offering her services free of charge and serving up 100 hand-made a la carte lunches to VIPs visitors during the event.

Birmingham estate management company Centrick Property donated £30,000 to pay for the new Centrick Multimedia Games Room.

Centrick Property Director and founder James Ackrill cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony, cheered by crowds of guests.

Centrick organised the fitting out of the games room, with the help of various companies the firm regularly works with – Arte Creative Design, Jobson James insurance brokers, Seven Homes, SGT Electrical Contractors, The LED Lighting Company, BP Services (UK), Titus Interiors, Revelation Maintenance, A1 Aerials and T H Maintenance.

Last week’s (10th May) ceremony also marked the opening of Washington Court’s Skills for Life Computer Centre, which was funded by a £10,000 Big Lottery grant.

The games room, decorated to look like a cinema, boasts a large screen and projector for games and digital TV – including London Olympics 2012 coverage – to be watched by Washington Court’s customers.

It also has Wii and X-box facilities, a snooker table, a ping pong table and leather sofas for people to relax, mingle and enjoy some leisure time. The room also has new energy efficient LED lights which could save up to 90% on electricity bills.

The computer centre, which has eight computers, will offer a range of facilities and activities to help Trident Reach customers develop their skills, look for accommodation, identify training opportunities and search for jobs.

Trident Reach also plans to develop the computer centre so it can offer accredited training courses.

Anthony McCool, Trident Reach Charity Lead, said: “We are very grateful for the support of the local business community in helping us create such fantastic facilities for our customers.

“Through these sorts of services, we aim to provide long-term solutions for homeless people by enabling them to access leisure facilities, get involved in their community by enjoying national events like the Olympics, develop their skills and gain access to jobs and training opportunities.”

Trident Reach the People Charity provides housing, care and support services for vulnerable people across the Midlands, helping them to live independently, play their part in the community and fulfill their potential.

For more information about Trident Reach or to find out how you can support its work, contact 0121 226 5800.

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