We caught up with Community Engagement Manager for Berkeley Homes, Mari Chisholm, about their initiative to give something back to the local community as they build their new landmark development in City Road. Their development, due to complete in 2024, includes 995 homes (over 30% will be affordable), alongside office space, retail space and a hotel, with landscaped green spaces and secluded courtyards.

Central to the work of the Community Engagement team for Berkeley Homes is engaging their new residents within their developments with people who already live in the area, making everyone feel part of the community. This is how the relationship with St Luke’s came about. They were keen to meet people who used and worked at the Centre, to get to know the area and plan some community engagement initiatives.

Several discussions have already taken place between the teams at Berkeley Homes and St Luke’s and a session with the Women’s Multicultural Group to discuss their needs and wants was very productive, with topics like employment, motherhood and support raised. With feedback from the women, Berkeley are now planning some employability and confidence boosting workshops, where employees of Berkeley can share advice, tips and information from a male-dominated industry that might be useful for future employment.

Berkeley Homes were keen to work with St Luke’s because they liked the ethos of grass roots community help and building relationships that benefit everyone – residents new and old. They were impressed with the wide range of services on offer at the Centre and the diversity of the area and the service users. Describing St Luke’s as a ‘special place’ they are keen for their new residents on City Road to become involved in the centre and be an asset at the heart of the EC1 community.

We look forward to working with the team at Berkeley in the coming months and developing these plans to support our community groups and engaging new people who make EC1 their home or workplace in the future.