In order to create space for London to thrive, we have a responsibility to ensure that we have a long lasting positive impact on the communities in which we work. In May 2018, we brought our community and charitable work into a single cohesive strategy ‘Creating Sustainable Relationships’ which focuses on some of the key challenges facing London and our local communities.
Youth homelessness in London is at record levels and we wanted to support a charity focused on breaking this cycle. We therefore announced a formal partnership with Centrepoint in May 2018. Centrepoint undertake fantastic work, not only providing much needed accommodation, but also a wide range of services from a helpline to their impressive engagement programme to help get young people into employment. During the year, we raised £117,000 and a further £31,000 in goods in kind and pro bono support, held our first Community Day and created a large pool of trainee-ship placements for Centrepoint young people.
Education and skills
The property and construction industries are facing a significant skills gap and finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the diverse talent needed. To help address this, we have a long standing relationship with the University of Westminster, providing their students with access to our construction projects together with an established apprenticeship programme. During the year, we also supported the Centrepoint work placement scheme, providing opportunities for their young people to work within our supply chain. We also announced our support of the Bankside Open Spaces Trust Future Gardeners work placement scheme, which helps people not in education, employment or training secure access into the horticulture industry.
Air pollution is a significant concern for London and the communities in which we work. Green spaces can improve air quality and have numerous benefits in connection with wellbeing, biodiversity and climate change. During the year, together with Groundwork London, we funded an Air Quality Toolkit for schools. This also helped to unlock funding from the Greener City Fund for two schools to allow them to install green screens and walls. We hope these efforts will both materially benefit the air quality in the vicinity of the schools and help refine the specification of urban greening measures in our own portfolio.