JCW have recently grown rapidly in our Suffolk office. What was once a local team providing gas maintenance services to domestic and commercial customers within the Suffolk and Norfolk areas is now a national team providing the same excellent service throughout our 5 offices around the UK.

However, even as a national company, we still recognise our responsibility to our local communities and our Suffolk office were delighted to be able to assist the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich with the refurbishment of one of their shelters for the homeless.

The project brought about a number of challenges, which in turn brought out the team spirit within all our offices who helped support the completion of the works. This ensured a timely hand over, to the satisfaction of the Diocese.

The Diocese

The diocese was formed on 23 January 1914 and serves 454 parishes and communities across the Suffolk area. Not only does the diocese provide support to the churches, ministers, schools and residents in the area, it also provides much needed shelter for the homeless.

With the winter drawing in now, they were keen to complete the renovation works of their shelter at Cutler Street in Ipswich The shelter required a new boiler to be installed, as well as a shower unit, a facility never available before, and alterations to the toilet facilities.

A winning formula

Having worked with the diocese for a number of years providing them with service, compliance and installation work, we were delighted to be invited to tender for the work.

JCW’s Mission

The work we were instructed to complete was the installation of a new commercial boiler, installation of a new show cubicle and electric shower unit and associated alterations to the existing toilet facilities. To accommodate servicing of the commercial catering equipment, installation of new lighting, PIR sensors and extractor fan. 

We had just two weeks to complete the work as the shelter was due to have its official opening on 11th October 2018.

Key facts

Manufacturer Chosen: Worcester

System: GB162 Commercial Boiler

Equipment: Triton Electric Shower

Timescale: 2 weeks

The challenges

The installation of the new boiler was smooth running, however, the fitting of the shower unit brought about some additional work that was not in the original plan.

A revised plan was put together at very short notice, which involved the inclusion of additional walls and other fabric work. Once this was complete, it was agreed that the facility would need to be redecorated and then the extractor fan to be connected – with just a day until the shelter was due to open!

We called upon our electrical team from the Leicester office to complete the work for the extractor fan. Redecoration is not a service we normally provide, however, with time running out, we called some extra hands in from our mobile engineering team and it was literally all hands on deck during the final day.

With the help from our admin teams in the co-ordination of the final day, our engineers for mucking in, we completed all the work required in time, ready for opening day.

Words from our Operations Manager

““There were some unexpected complications with the work, especially in relation to completing the shower unit and its associated electrical and decorative work. 

Had the staff from Woodbridge and Leicester offices not worked together at the last minute in a positive, proactive and prioritised way, I am confident that the project would not have been completed on time and the shelter would not have been ready to open.  This of course would have had significant consequences to the Diocese and the homeless they provide essential support to.

 I personally witnessed numerous examples of staff embodying all of JCW’s core values yesterday and we were actually able to identify and rectify several unrelated and previously unknown issues on site for the staff, so that the shelter was ready to open in the best condition possible.”

Due to our installation capabilities and our ongoing relationship with the diocese they recognised that we would be a reliable contractor to complete the work in what was going to be quite a tight deadline.

Client Testimonial

“The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter guests are making good use of their new shower fitted into the Nicholas Centre and are very grateful to JCW Saunders for fitting it!”


The shelter re-opened on time providing the local community with much needed services. Even to now have shower facilities is a huge step forward, the simple things really do make a difference.

JCW were proud and humbled to work alongside the Diocese and are so pleased to know that the shelter can continue their good work, providing support to the homeless in the area.

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