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Press release

1 NOV 2018

Belfast City Hall illuminated for LandAid Day

Susan Mason RICS Northern Ireland

Susan Mason

Regional Director - Northern Ireland

Belfast, UK

RICS

Belfast City Hall was lit up in purple on 1 November 2018 to highlight the contributions made by Belfast’s chartered surveyors, as they fundraise for young people at risk of homelessness as part of RICS’ Pledge 150 campaign. The light up took place to mark the 150th anniversary of RICS and LandAid Day 2018.

Professionals in Northern Ireland’s land, property and construction sectors are raising money as part of as RICS’ global Pledge150 campaign, launched as part of our 150th anniversary year. In partnership with property industry charity, LandAid, the campaign encourages the property industry to raise funds to deliver 150 bed spaces in 2018 for young people in the UK at risk of homelessness.

Two housing projects in Northern Ireland that will benefit from Pledge150, and assist those who have experienced, or are facing homelessness, are Extern Homes and Simon Community NI.

The money raised for Extern Homes will help fund the charity’s renovation of 10 two-bed properties for young people at risk of being homeless. As well as having a safe place to live, the young people will be given training in budget management and maintenance issues and offered training and employment opportunities through other Extern Projects to help them build a brighter future.

RICS professionals are also raising money to contribute to a Pledge 150 grant which will help the Simon Community NI create a new multi-purpose space at their emergency accommodation for young people. This will involve renovation and a new build property extension to create 10 new bed spaces.
It costs around £15,000 to provide one bed space but each one gives a young person at severe risk of homelessness somewhere safe to call home.

Did you know?

In Northern Ireland, more than 3,500 young people aged 16 to 25 years old are registered as homeless.

Belfast City Hall-Pledge150
Belfast City Hall - lit up for Pledge 150
Belfast City Hall-Pledge150
The scene from Belfast high street

Through the RICS Pledge150 campaign, property professionals are actively making a difference by supporting young vulnerable people into new homes and giving them the tools they need to realise a brighter future.

Susan Mason
Acting Regional Director Northern Ireland, RICS

To date, members here have raised funds through a wide programme of activities including a sponsored abseil down the Europa Hotel, a five-a-side football tournament, as well as corporate donations and money raised through raffles at the RICS Awards Northern Ireland and other annual events.

Susan Mason, Acting Regional Director Northern Ireland RICS, highlights: “Having nowhere safe, secure or affordable to live shuts all the options we take for granted right down and it’s near enough impossible to gain a job, apprenticeship or complete a college course without a safe place to live. Through the RICS Pledge150 campaign, Northern Ireland, and UK, property professionals are actively making a difference by supporting young vulnerable people into new homes and giving them the tools they need to realise a brighter future.

She added: “The response we’ve had with this campaign from the local property industry, has been impressive, and although we’ve set ourselves the target of raising at least £45,000 for these very worthy housing projects, we would like help to deliver more housing for young people facing homelessness. I’d urge any property professionals out there to get involved in Pledge150 if they aren’t already and help end homelessness here in Northern Ireland.”

Extern’s Director of Services, Danny McQuillan, said: “At Extern we know only too well the complexities and challenges posed by homelessness, and how it affects young people. We created Extern Homes in order to enable people who were trapped in a cycle of homelessness, and who faced difficulties in accessing the private rented sector, to rebuild their lives.

“Part of the success of Extern Homes comes down to the professionalism of the people we work with in the property sector, so we are delighted to have been chosen as beneficiaries in the Pledge150 campaign, and thank everyone involved. We look forward to putting the funds raised towards changing young people’s lives for the better.”

Joanne McCallister, Head of Income Generation, Simon Community NI, said: “In Northern Ireland, more than 3,500 young people, aged 16 to 25 years old are registered as homeless. The donation from RICS and LandAid will make a lasting difference to the young people supported by Simon Community each year. Helping one of our society’s most vulnerable groups to break the homelessness cycle before adulthood, is life-changing and I thank RICS and LandAid for their very generous contribution.”

As part of the Pledge150 campaign, property professionals are also being encouraged to consider providing pro bono property advice to help local charities that support disadvantaged people, including those experiencing homelessness.

About Pledge150

As part of our 150-year anniversary in 2018, we want to highlight our public interest responsibility and the value of the surveying profession in developing influential solutions to society’s challenges in the UK.

Our fundraising programme will enable our partners LandAid to fund the provision of 150 bed spaces across all 12 RICS UK regions. RICS professionals will also have the opportunity to register their interest to provide pro bono support to local front line charities.

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Susan Mason RICS Northern Ireland

Susan Mason

Regional Director - Northern Ireland

Belfast, UK

RICS