2nd December 2022

Local community

As a rapidly expanding employer in Richmondshire, with further offices in London and Holland, Harris Irwin Architects is very much aware of its social and economic responsibility to the wider local community, our staff, clients, partners, and the environment we operate in. Over the last few years, we have proudly been involved with a number of initiatives.

For the last two years, we have supported the Festival of Thrift, the UK’s only national celebration of sustainable living.  In September several members of our team helped on a stand sponsored by RIBA Teesside, sharing their knowledge on future proofing homes or designing new eco-friendly sustainable homes.

RIBA Teesside is chaired by one of our Associates Rob McCartney, who mentors architectural students at both Northumbria and Newcastle Universities.

Rob also recently gave a presentation at a local secondary school to promote the work, not only of architects, but also of other key members of the practice, such as technicians, 3D visualisers and support staff.

As part of our commitment to the next generation, we have a steady stream of architectural students who come and work for us to gain practical exposure in the field between their degree and diploma studies.  We also actively encourage local school students to take advantage of the opportunity of work experience at the practice.

We are aware of our social responsibilities to the area in which our head office is located and are currently working alongside Dementia Friendly Richmondshire with both Richmondshire District Council and North Yorkshire County Council in developing a new rural care model based around our current leading thinking.

Whilst this is in the infancy of its journey, we have been amazed at the support and uptake of the idea in the wider community, with at least one site already earmarked for a prototype. We see this as an important addition to the current care provision that allows members of our more rural community to stay closer to home, around their friends and family to improve the wellbeing of residents and ease the pressures on the support family. 

Additionally, some of our London team have been assisting Waltham Forest Council in developing designs of a new home for their community creative spaces.

Sport is close to our hearts at Harris Irwin, and we have provided sponsorship for a number of local and grassroots teams in and around our area.  We supported Sam Holme, a rising star in the National Superstock 1000 motorbike racing championship, for a number of years until his recent retirement.  We’ve provided assistance for Richmondshire Cricket Club youth section, the Golden Smog Warriers Basketball team, based in Stockton-on-Tees and the RAF Blackhawks ice hockey club to name but a few.  A couple of our intrepid team, Eleanor (London) and Brodie (Aske) plan to run the Hackney half marathon in London next May to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, and we are looking forward to providing a lot of vocal support on the day!

With Christmas fast approaching we’ll be doing our bit to support a couple of local organisations by providing hampers and gifts for Garget Walker House, which provides day services for those with dementia and respite for their carers in Richmond, and Just the Job which is a charity and social enterprise supporting adults with a wide range of abilities in work orientated and therapeutic activities.

Harris Irwin is committed to giving something back to society and providing positive value to the areas we operate in.  We are proud to support our community.