Barlow and Associates - helping community organisations achieve ambitions through ProHelp

Barlow and Associates are a Chartered Quantity Surveying practice.  Stretching the boundaries of the traditional quantity surveying role, their services include advising and supporting clients on construction works on aspects including budgeting, grant submissions, tendering and project management. 

They are also experts in surveying buildings to ensure their suitability for clients' needs, including advising on lease terms and working with lawyers to get the best outcome for their clients.  The company is a member of Derbyshire ProHelp, and wrote about their work for Pro Bono Week.

Barlow and Associates like helping people.  We recognise that the world of construction and property is a 'minefield' for the inexperienced, and that a little of our knowledge and experience can help those with the best intentions to achieve their ambitions for their organisation, or, sadly more often, avoid the pitfalls.

We have recently supported the following organisations:

Shirebrook Christian Centre - we considered the feasibility/cost of various options for a large extension to their existing premises.  The Centre is in an area of deprivation where the in-house team work in partnership with other agencies to support people with addictions, unemployment, debt and social exclusion.

Child Contact Centre - we considered the feasibility of taking basement rooms, requiring alteration and refurbishment, in a run-down building, and advised on the implications of taking on a commercial lease on the property in its run-down condition, as well as suggesting alternative accomodation.  The Centre provides a safe, secure and neutral location where children of separated families can spend time with the parent or family members they no longer live with, or would otherwise not see.

Chellaston Football Club - we provided a condition survey and lease advice in relation to a sports pavilion being offered to the club by the local authority.  The Club provides football coaching and opportunities for boys and girls aged 4-18 and apsires to offer a wider range of sporting opportunities using the pavilion and playing fields.

The support we have provided has enabled the various groups to understand the costs, the risks and the responsibilities associated with development and occupation of commercial property. 

Our biggest challenge has been in dealing with enthusiastic people and organisations with over ambitious schemes. We are careful to tell it 'how it is' and avoid the risk of wasting money and people's time.

We believe that ProHelp provides a valuable resource of professional expertise for charitable and community organisations. It supports those volunteers out there making a difference.  Our professional knowledge of how the business world works means that, in a minimum of time, we can often crystalize decisions, and help organisations take projects to the next step much faster than inexperienced volunteers and charity supporters ever could.

From a business point of view, ProHelp also has the benefit of giving businesses an opportunity to meet and work with other professions they might otherwise never have come into contact with.