I stumbled across Springboard by complete chance in early 2009. As a third year (Classics, if it matters) student at university I was being forced to confront the harsh reality that the raucous and continual party that had represented the last 3 years of my life, was about to come to an abrupt end. Whilst this came as an undeniable blessing for both my wallet and my liver, there were understandably some concerns. I was going to actually have to, you know, get a proper job, find someone foolish enough to let me live with them, and become a fully functional, work going, rent paying, member of society. Somewhat unsure as to how exactly to go about this whole “adulting” business, I took my first tentative step and typed “London flatshare” in to Gumtree. My luck was in and an advert for Springboard popped up. “Hassle free, all-inclusive young professional accommodation with people just like you” it proclaimed. Sounds good, I thought and added it to my favourites. I had no idea at the time of the significance of this decision or what a sizeable part Springboard would come to play in the next 6 years of my life.
I went to view Springboard West Hampstead for the first time at the beginning of January 2010 and I was immediately sold. Rob was friendly and approachable, and the experience was relaxed with none of the stresses of your usual flat viewing. I was attracted to Springboard by the all-inclusive accommodation rental price and its central location; a 5 minute walk from West Hampstead train station on the Jubilee line, followed by an 18 minute train ride into Waterloo where I had, by some miracle, managed to land my first job. I had every intention of taking advantage of Springboard’s readymade social scene at that juncture, however, due to the demands of a new job and the excitement of being reunited in the city with the majority of my university friends with whom I felt compelled to frequent Tiger Tiger and other classy establishments on a weekly basis, I pretty much only took the time to get to know my actual flatmates, neglecting the 70 or so other young people and potential new friends within the building.
Whilst Springboard is undoubtedly an excellent choice for those new to London and looking to meet others at a similar stage in life, the social aspect is optional. In West Hampstead, approximately 50% opt in and 50% opt out. Even if you decide to limit your involvement in this part of Springboard life, you will still have an incredibly positive experience. The all-inclusive monthly rent makes budgeting easier and helps reduce financial stresses, and having a landlord so close at hand is a tremendous blessing as all maintenance issues are taken care of promptly. Springboard provides a clean, comfortable, and welcoming environment to return to after a hard day at work, plus my parent’s concerns regarding my abilities (or lack thereof) to survive in the big bad adult world were significantly reduced due to West Hampstead being populated largely by young professionals, it being a relatively safe area, and the fact that the 139 night bus stops on Piccadilly, in Oxford Circus and at just about every (un)desirable location in which my 23 year old self loved to party, before dropping me off right outside Springboard’s front door.
After a year, I left Springboard to move in with friends. My Springboard experience was so good however, that in 2013, keen to move back to West Hampstead, I returned. Again Rob was wonderful in helping my find a room straight away, even moving the furniture around within it to accommodate my preferences. The second time, my experience of living at Springboard’s all-inclusive accommodation was different; equally as convenient and in many ways more fun! I gelled particularly well with my flatmates on this occasion and made more effort to get to know others in the building. It was also around this time that I had my first (life altering) experience of Lately’s nightclub. (Details of which are found here) As well as acquiring several, I hope, friends for life my second stay at Springboard provided me a travel buddy, a fellow London blogger and foodie to explore town with, and a boyfriend. Not to mention, I made regular use of the Springboard gym training for my first 10k, which kick-started the running addiction I have today. Suffice to say, in many ways, Springboard really did improve my life.
3 close friends of mine have subsequently moved in to Springboard upon my recommendation, and 2 of these have since recommended it to others. Whilst all of us are in agreement that it is by far the most fun, flexible and convenient solution to young professional accommodation in London, if you still don’t believe me check out what our other clients have to say. And for more personal Springboard stories just like this one, watch this space.