Vertus maintains community spirit in the midst of lockdown

Vertus reimagines itself to ensure residents stay active, inspired and engaged during lockdown.

Lounge at 10 George Street Build to Rent scheme - Canary Wharf Group | BTR News
Lounge at 10 George Street Build to Rent scheme.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives across the world, it’s become even more prevalent how important community is for support, assistance and general wellbeing. It has presented an opportunity to reimagine what Build to Rent community means, strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones.

Vertus, Canary Wharf Group’s new Build to Rent provider places community at the heart of their developments, which has been a major draw for residents at 10 George Street. The scheme provides residents with the lifestyle they want, free from the commitment they don’t. It also gives them access to a thriving community – which has had to drastically adapt to a ‘new normal’ during the current pandemic.

Vertus' residents lounge - Canary Wharf Group | BTR News
Vertus’ residents lounge.

Club Vertus – the heartbeat of life at 10 George Street has had to reimagine itself. Before the coronavirus, Club Vertus offered a variety of social spaces, a self-service bar with automatic wine dispensers, a bookable dining room, 24-hour gym studio and a plethora of classes and events.

“I really liked the communal aspects of the development – the Humble Grape wine machine, pool table, gym, terrace and spaces to sit and enjoy a glass of wine after work or to set up and work from home. 

“I also really like the dining area and the ability to rent the space to residents is fantastic. I can’t wait to host friends and show off my cooking skills when this is all over.”

Katherine Meadows, new resident at 10 George Street

Ensuring that residents have the ability to stay active, engaged and inspired during the lockdown, Club Vertus is building a virtual community; bringing Canary Wharf’s vibrant community into residents’ apartments instead – vital for wellbeing during the current social distancing measures. Residents have taken part in a number of events so far online with a host of other activities in the diary.

“The idea of community has always been an important one for us at Vertus and with the current lockdown measures in place, this has never been more prominent. Even though apartment front doors are shut, it doesn’t mean that people should feel lonely or isolated.”

Alastair Mullens, Head of Vertus

Online virtual community

Humble Grape, a local wine stockist who provide hand-crafted wines for Club Vertus’ automatic wine dispensers, hosted an online wine tasting event for residents recently. Before the event, a contact free bottle of wine from Portugal’s Dão region, was given to those taking part – free of charge.

Vertus-Humble Grape Virtual Wine Tasting (resident's view) - Canary Wharf Group | BTR News
Vertus and Humble Grape’s virtual wine tasting (resident’s view)

One of Humble Grape’s leading sommeliers talked residents through how to taste the wine from the region known as the Burgundy of Portugal, where red wine gets its colouring from, the specific tasting notes of the wine and the history of the vineyard it’s produced by.

Feedback from residents was positive, with many expressing they felt as though they were transported to the warm, dry region of Dão for an evening. Club Vertus will be hosting another one in the coming weeks.

To help residents remain active, Antidote, the operators of the gym studio space at 10 George Street are holding various online and video classes. Residents have virtual access to different classes and personal training sessions – where they only need a water bottle, chair and a towel to get involved.

“There has never been a more important time to help our residents look after their physical and mental health. The team at Vertus’ Antidote studio continue to provide a varied and exciting wellness programme to all residents via video link.

“Residents have been enjoying one-to-one personal training, yoga, pilates and meditation sessions, as well as a timetable of group classes including HIIT, Metcon and Boxfit”.

Errol Richardson, Fitness consultant, Antidote
Rooftop terrace at 10 George Street Build to Rent scheme - Canary Wharf Group | BTR News
Rooftop terrace at 10 George Street Build to Rent scheme.

Residents also took part in a virtual quiz. Answer sheets were delivered to residents’ doors, contact-free. The quiz included two picture rounds, multiple choice and general knowledge questions, and a link round.The quiz presented the opportunity for residents to get to know one another as they chatted in-between each round. The community spirit was evident as the quiz winner shared their prize – a case of white wine – with other residents who took part.

Vertus are organising more events and classes for the future, as these continue to bring people together which is paramount to protect the community. The Vertus team are also constantly reviewing the Government’s guidelines on isolation and when it’s safe, they’ll re-open coliving spaces ensuring the possible required social distancing measures are in place.