19 DEC 2017
In an effort to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness during winter – and the Christmas season - RICS has joined forces with property industry charity, LandAid to launch a campaign to deliver more bed spaces for young homeless people across all 12 UK regions.
As part of RICS’s 150th anniversary in 2018, the Pledge150 campaign will see RICS attempt to raise £2.25 million by December 2018 for LandAid. This money will be used to fund the creation of 150 bed spaces for young people at risk of homelessness.
“The winter months are often the most difficult for young people who are homeless, and sadly, as temperatures plummet those who are forced to sleep rough are at an even greater risk of harm, and even death. It is our hope with this campaign that we can make a real positive change to young vulnerable people’s lives by providing them with a safe, secure and affordable place to live,” said Matthew Howell, RICS Managing Director, UK & Ireland.
Over the last five years, LandAid has raised over £7million to fund accommodation projects for young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, giving them the chance to rebuild their lives after gaining safe and secure accommodation.
One such couple is husband and wife David and Charlotte, who found themselves homeless whilst Charlotte was pregnant. They ‘sofa-surfed’ at friends and relatives houses in Bradford – often not knowing where they’d be sleeping the following night – until fortunately, David found Canopy Housing, a housing project in Leeds supported by LandAid funding.
Canopy prides itself on a self-help model which sees tenants work with local volunteers to renovate their future home. Canopy found David and Charlotte a house; and together with a team of volunteers, David got to work on converting the property.
David commented: "You need somewhere stable to live, especially when you’re having a child. We did a good half of the work on the house ourselves; the flooring, the painting, installing the units, fitting the carpets and putting up the cupboards. I’m so grateful to have a place we can now call home, and to have also had the chance to learn some new transferable skills."
In November, HRH the Duke of Cambridge attended the Pledge150 fundraising launch event which raised £127,000 towards the £2.25m target – through a number of activities including a charity cook-off, auction and ‘Pledge a Bed’ initiative.
RICS plans to raise further funds for the Pledge150 campaign at a variety of corporate events, challenges and through staff and partner university initiatives across all 12 UK regions. Those working in the land, property and construction sectors are also being encouraged to join in and think big in terms of their fundraising activities and in helping to publicise the campaign.
More information on the RICS Pledge150 campaign is available – including how to pledge your support, tools to get you started, and help to fundraise.