A new book, titled Arlington And Beyond, sets out the history of London’s historic hostel, Arlington House. It has been produced to mark the tenth anniversary of our client One Housing’s management of the building.
The hostel was founded in 1905 and is the largest in Europe that caters for homeless people. Our Chequers and Renovo divisions have had the cleaning contract there since it re-opened after refurbishment in 2010.
It is a mixed-use facility, including accommodation for 139 homeless, vulnerable and low-income tenants, plus a conference centre and commercial space for rent and many members of our team who started work there in 2010 are still there today.
Apart from the cleaning, the Chequers team also carries out facilities maintenance, window cleaning and annual floor resurfacing, and team members also take part in various social value events.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic our Renovo colleagues used to provide British Institute of Cleaning Science training to hostel tenants and other homeless groups on a fortnightly basis and this is due to restart shortly.
There is also a dedicated BiCS training centre within Arlington, that is maintained by us, and Churchill account manager Fiorello Maffei, who has recently passed his BiCS assessor course, will be leading the training.
Arlington is the largest of the Rowton Houses set up by Victorian philanthropist Lord Rowton to help London’s poor. It is the only one to remain in use as a hostel.
Famous residents have included George Orwell and Irish poet Brendan Behan. Both have featured Arlington in their work, and it even gets a mention in the song One Better Day, written by Madness front man Suggs.
Suggs, who wrote the foreword to the book and attended the lunchtime reception at Arlington which launched it on March 24, said: ‘As a kid growing up in Camden Town, Arlington loomed large over my life.’
Churchill ops manager Terry Tunesi and Carlos Patino, who is Renovo’s account manager for the site, also attended the reception. Terry said: ‘Chequers and Renovo are usually the ‘go to’ option for any work that is needed and their employees are treated like part of the team, so it was natural for us to be invited to attend the launch party and we were very happy to be there.’
Martin D’Mello, One Housing’s group director for care and support, said: ‘Arlington is a very special place in the history of London, for generations it’s been the place where people have found a foothold out of homelessness, and this book tells that story.
‘It also brings us right up to date and describes how the holistic care Arlington provides, with the support of Camden Council, can serve as a model for how rough sleepers can be successfully supported across London and beyond.’
The book, which also features 50 works of art and written contributions from past residents, is being sold at local sites, including Arlington itself, with the revenue going to charities that support Arlington residents and those in similar schemes.
Find out more about Arlington here: https://www.arlington.org.uk/