Enfield rallies for new Samaritans HQ

By James Renoux-Wood - Tue 6 August 2013, 5:33 pm

Plans to renovate the North London Samaritans headquarters in Enfield have been given support throughout the borough.

A public consultation to discuss plans for the refurbishment attracted 43 local residents, as well as councillors and charity volunteers.

The existing Samaritans building near Bowes Park station, known locally as “The Tin Tabernacle”, has fallen into disrepair, forcing the charity to temporarily relocate.

Past-chairman and volunteer of the charity, Nigel Thorne, said: “The charity, which like all Samaritans branches must be self-financing, is having to use precious resources renting temporary premises from which to work.”

The north London branch of the Samaritans operates for 3,718 hours every year and answers calls from 8,000 people and 600 emails from those who are in despair or distress.

Plans for the renovation are moving ahead.

Project architect, Paul Fletcher, said: "The existing building is in appalling condition. It has asbestos, zero insulation, single glazing, rotten timbers and holes in the walls.

"We propose to carefully ‘unpeel’ the structure and rebuild on its original frame using sympathetic modern materials to recreate the visual aesthetic in a sustainable way."