New premises, fresh approach
Kinnarps first became associated with Age Concern earlier in 2009 following the sponsorship of a scheme to collect second hand furniture from donors. These items could then be resold and all profits channelled into the charity’s client-focussed activities.
As part of the Slough town regeneration programme, Age Concern was required to vacate their existing premises at the Old Library which had been scheduled for demolition. Alternative accommodation had been offered in the form of a converted shop/office complex situated closer to the High Street and the charity decided to take this opportunity to change the format of its client service offering, creating a ‘drop-in’ style centre with a designated administration floor and a new coffee shop that would be open to the general public.
Flexible and accommodating
The nature of the charity’s operations meant that a certain proportion of hot-desking would need to be accommodated, for use by field-based personnel. This would affect the choice of desking as well as storage proposed, in order to fully consider the needs of all users. Age Concern’s clear objective for the Drop-in centre was to enable all their clients to move freely and comfortably around the area but also allow for group activities and social interaction as required. The charity also wanted to provide folding tables for use in flexible spaces that would be used for a variety of activities including formal meetings, lectures and exercise classes. As a result all furniture specified would need to be hardwearing, adaptable and easy to reconfigure by Age Concern staff.
Hardwearing, careful specification
The administration floor had already been partitioned to provide a basic office layout and this along with the mansard roof restricted the positioning of furniture. Kinnarps proposed two plans, and after collaboration with the Age Concern administration team, the new layout was agreed. Series[e] furniture in birch laminate was specified throughout along with XD cabinets to address the differing filing requirements. Solo stackable chairs were used in meeting and interview rooms to complement. The flexibility required for the Drop-In centre was delivered by using ‘Kite’ tables in meeting areas with stackable Solo chairs throughout. In general areas Invito single and 2-seater chairs were used to provide informal comfort, built to last in X Factor Plus Care fabric. In the new 52-cover public café area on the ground floor, a bright welcoming environment was created with the installation of Asto tables in birch laminate alongside Tango chairs in six different, eye-catching colours.
“If there was an award for business partner of choice I would undoubtedly give it to Kinnarps. It meant that as an organisation Age Concern could quickly and efficiently get on with what we do best – looking after our clients – in a fantastically well-equipped environment.” Tracey Morgan, CEO
CLIENT: AGE CONCERN SLOUGH & BERKSHIRE EAST (ACSBE)
LOCATION: THE VILLAGE, 101-102 HIGH STREET, SLOUGH, BERKSHIRE SL1 1HP
PROJECT GROUP: TRACEY MORGAN, ACSBE CEO
JOHN HAEFFELE, KINNARPS REGIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR