Samaritans makeover

A group of interior design and architecture students were keen to work on a M.a.D project which would help them develop their organisational skills whilst putting their practical skills to the test. Samaritans came forward with a proposal which would be of benefit not only to the students but to the organisation too. Following a generous donation, Samaritans decided to use this to complete a design makeover which would benefit lots of the clients using the facilities. This included refurbishing the foyer in calm colours to make it more private, and also re-decorating another room for those who had been affected by loved ones who died by suicide - a contemplative room on the anniversary of a death. The room would be open without the need to speak with a Samaritan, but we would be available to listen if they wished. A team of student volunteers, led by final year interior architecture student Henwar Baker, designed and refurbished the room making it into a light, bright and stylish space for the Samaritans and their clients. Following a brief from Samaritans regarding how to use the room, the volunteers decided to create a 'mood Board' and provided costings for the project. This was a fantastic experience for the students to put their design skills to good use, whilst also being able to work with a real client. This project enabled the volunteers to manage a budget, develop their time management skills and increase their confidence in dealing with a client. Samaritans were delighted with the results including the transformed space which would not have been achieved without the design, skills and commitment of the volunteers. A job well done!