Blog Post

May 18, 2018

Kevin McCloud encourages people to ‘ask an architect’

The designer and television host Kevin McCloud has lent his support to ask an architect, a local campaign raising funds for the Friends of the Cancer Centre in partnership with the Jill Todd Trust. “The architects I’ve met in Northern Ireland have this fantastic can-do attitude,” said McCloud, the presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs TV series. “They often aren’t working with the biggest budgets but through intelligent design they have produced some really uplifting spaces.”

People with building projects in Northern Ireland can take part in the third annual edition of ask an architect until Sunday 20th May. More than fifty practices have signed up for this innovative project with all funds raised going to the Friends of the Cancer Centre. For one week, from 14th-20th May, chartered architects volunteer their time – in exchange for a £40 donation, clients can book a one-hour consultation.

Kevin went on to say: “In my experience, clients love the ideas that are generated when they ask an architect but they equally value the expert navigation through all the practical and technical hurdles that building projects throw up.”

The ‘ask an architect’ initiative was devised by Belfast-based architect Barrie Todd, who along with his wife Trish, founded the Jill Todd Trust in memory of their late daughter. Barrie says of the initiative: “We wanted to raise funds and use our skills in a way that would benefit everybody. That’s how ‘ask an architect’ came about: Members of the public receive architectural advice; architects meet new potential clients, and the Friends of the Cancer Centre, who do amazing work locally to support those affected by cancer, benefit from all funds raised.”

aaa2018 Launch
Barrie Todd of the Jill Todd Trust with fellow organisers of ask an architect 2018: Ana Wilkinson (Friends of the Cancer Centre), Conor McCafferty (PLACE) and Ciaran Fox (RSUA). Photo by Joe Laverty.

All proceeds raised through ask an architect go directly to the Friends of the Cancer Centre. Ana Wilkinson, Corporate Fundraising Manager at the Friends of the Cancer Centre, said: “Thanks to the donations we receive through ‘ask an architect’, we are able to fund life-saving and life-changing projects which make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of thousands of cancer patients and their families. Every single penny donated will make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer.”

Ciarán Fox, Director of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA), said: “The RSUA are delighted to support this innovative fundraising initiative for the third year. Chartered architects add value to building projects by bringing their experience and skill to projects big and small. All the architects taking part in ‘ask an architect’ are RSUA members and they are spread throughout Northern Ireland – people booking consultations will be able to find an architect close to them to solve whatever design challenge they have, from new builds to extensions to renovations.”

Thanks to the generous support of generous sponsors, 100% of all funds raised by ‘ask an architect’ support cancer research through clinical trials, who cover administrative costs and provide critical pro bono services.

In return for a donation of £40 to support local cancer charity Friends of the Cancer Centre in partnership with the Jill Todd Trust, you can meet with a local architect and find out this for yourself. Your donation will support local research; so as well as building your dream home, you’ll be building a better future for people affected by cancer.

Kevin encourages anyone thinking of a project to make use of the initiative: “If you’re even half-thinking of a project I encourage you to take advantage of ‘ask an architect’ week. You get to tap into the expertise of an architect about your particular project whilst helping to improve treatments for cancer – such a win-win initiative.”

Bookings for ask an architect remain open until 20th May 2018.