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Commercial property specialists transforming container to help homeless

A former shipping container is being transformed to help homeless people by staff in the Bristol office of real estate services company Colliers International.

The donated metal container is being converted into a modern dwelling with a lounge/kitchen, fully fitted bathroom and separate bedroom, which will be used by social enterprise Help Bristol’s Homeless to provide temporary accommodation for people sleeping rough in the city.

Colliers staff have been working on the 40ft x 8ft container, to assist social enterprise Help Bristol’s Homeless in its aim of setting up a site of 11 container homes that will serve as an exemplar for similar projects in the UK and globally.

Tony Horrell, Chief Executive Officer UK and Ireland at Colliers International, said: “This is a superb practical initiative and I’m delighted that our staff in Bristol are involved in it.

“These containers are being turned into high-quality units similar to the ‘micro-homes’ that are becoming popular in London, and will provide first class temporary accommodation for people who are homeless.”

Tim Davies, head of South West and Wales at Colliers International, said: “Staff in the Bristol office have always rolled up their sleeves and got involved in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.   

“This an ambitious project takes that to a new level, as by helping to transform former shipping containers into temporary homes Colliers staff will also be helping to transform the lives of homeless people in Bristol.”

The team from Colliers in Bristol, led by Senior Surveyor Amy Bracey and Director Nick Williams– in collaboration with Longcroft Building Services and Bracey Interiors - is being supported in converting the containers by Screwfix; Artistic Blinds; Britannia Windows; Howdens; Little Greene Paints, and Mandarin Stone.

The container homes project was initiated last year by Jasper Thompson, a restaurant owner and the founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless.

He said: “I used to hand out sleeping bags and food to homeless people to help them, but I wanted to do something more and came up with the idea of converting former shipping containers into temporary homes.

“Help Bristol’s Homeless was only set up last year is presently a small Community Interest Company, although we are seeking charitable status, and it means a lot to get support from a company like Colliers International.

“The ethos of Help Bristol’s Homeless is that the priority for helping people off the streets should be getting them into comfortable accommodation in which they feel safe, and the converted containers are making this possible.

“Everyone accommodated here has been referred after being assessed as being suitable, and while they are with us they are given support in seeking the help they need, and also given opportunities to develop skills by helping in work taking place to convert containers into homes.”

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Tony Horrell

Chief Executive Officer - UK and Ireland


London - West End

Tony is Chief Executive Officer, UK and Ireland and Head of Global Capital Markets

Tony has been CEO for the UK and Ireland since 2010. He is responsible for the direction and growth of the UK business, which now employs over 900 people across 16 offices. His focus is on accelerating clients’ success locally and internationally through an enhanced level of service, whilst also retaining and recruiting some of the best talent in the commercial property sector.

As Head of Global Capital Markets, Tony spearheads our global platform and leverages his knowledge and understanding of our clients, business and people across APAC, EMEA and the Americas to drive the global capital markets strategy.

Tony is a member of Colliers International’s EMEA Board and Global Senior Executive team, which sets the vision and strategy for the company.

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