VIDEO: Former Free Press offices unveiled as new homeless help centre

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The former offices of the Doncaster Free Press have re-opened as centre aimed at helping the town’s homeless community.

Our town centre base in Sunny Bar for 89 years has been given a massive multi-million pound overhaul and the first tenants moved into the huge building yesterday.

Carl Robinson, Volunteer, Daniel Munn, Volunteer/service user, Andrea Milner, Chair of M25, Phil Bramley, Doncaster Free Press editor, Sam Archer, Property Development Manager and Neil Green, Project Director, pictured during the official opening of Made By U. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 10-08-15 M25 MC 16

Carl Robinson, Volunteer, Daniel Munn, Volunteer/service user, Andrea Milner, Chair of M25, Phil Bramley, Doncaster Free Press editor, Sam Archer, Property Development Manager and Neil Green, Project Director, pictured during the official opening of Made By U. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 10-08-15 M25 MC 16

Made By U, a social business initiative, opened its doors on the ground floor for the first time yesterday morning, offering recycled and re-used carpets at cut prices to help homeless people.

The rest of the four floor building is currently being converted into a series of self-contained flats, communal area and other facilities aiming at helping homeless people in Doncaster and will open later in the year.

Showers, toilets and kitchens have all been installed and the centre will act as a drop-in base for people on the streets to get help and advice.

The shop, a partnership between the M25 Housing and Support Group, Doncaster’s local homelessness charity of over 20 years and Neil Green Carpets and Flooring of Edenthorpe, stocks a range of carpets and floor coverings.

Joyce Foster, executive director of M25 said: “This exciting opportunity has arrived at exactly the right moment for M25 and those people we support. Made By U will help us do so much more to benefit Doncaster’s economic regeneration and create a better future for improving homelessness services across the borough.”

Neil Green, Made By U project director said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, having developed the project with M25 and forged relation’s with environmentally conscious partners around the country to 100 per cent avoid landfill and I cannot wait to see the scale of success unfold. I have run my carpet business for over 15 years and Made By U is a demonstration of my commitment towards ending homelessness in my local town.

Made By U’ has three key aims - to re-use carpets where possible, to provide affordable carpeting to all those in social housing and to recycle carpets that cannot be re-used in the manufacture of high quality underlay and to produce eco fuel pellets out of carpets that cannot be recycled or reused.

The Free Press was based at Sunny Bar right from its creation by local printer Dickie Crowther in 1925.

In January 2014, we moved to a brand new home on the corner of Printing Office Street and Cleveland Street, leaving behind Sunny Bar where more than 4,500 editions of the paper were produced.

The distinctive red brick building, constructed in 1902, gave birth to the very first edition of the Free Press on June 18, 1925.