The opening of the revamped shelter has received national recognition, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge making a special trip to visit Jimmy’s on the 28th November.
Jimmy’s originally opened in 1995 and was previously located in the basement of the Zion Baptist Church. After receiving £3 million in funding from the department for communities and local government, the shelter has expanded upwards into part of the Church building and will now provide higher quality facilities to its guests.
Previously, Jimmy’s provided a bed and food for 25 men and 6 women but was closed during the daytime. With the opening of the new building, Jimmy’s will be open 24/7 offering a range of activities. Twenty en-suite rooms have also been created, improving on the old dormitory-style rooms.
Anthony Collins Solicitors advised the Church and the Baptist Union Corporation Limited (“the BUC”) in relation to documents which defined the role of each party involved in the building project and outline Zion Baptist Church’s commitment to the project for 20 years. The Church was supported by the BUC over several years to see the project through to its completion.
Jenny Smith, associate at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said: “Based on our experience of the legal areas involved, we were able to provide the Church with innovative advice which ensured that the roles of the Church, the BUC, Jimmy’s and Cambridge City Council were properly reflected. The agreements achieve both the objectives of the Church and of Cambridge City Council, which will lay the foundations for Jimmy’s to continue to serve the homeless community effectively in the future. We are delighted to have been involved in this important mission work”.
Richard Blyth, pastor of Zion Baptist Church, commented: “The church has supported the work of Jimmy’s from its foundation and is very pleased with the results from this amazing refurbishment. The original 1837 chapel is now fully used in the goal of rebuilding lives, a goal that we must never lose sight of and which we believe can only ever be fully achieved with the help of Christ Himself.”