Last month, LandAid, Palmer Capital and Opus North visited Canopy Housing to see a home they sponsored using funds raised for last year's LandAid Day in their annual Money Maker Challenge.
Canopy Housing repurposes buildings in Leeds that make up some of the UK’s 200,000 empty properties and turn them into accommodation for young people facing homelessness. Canopy’s ‘self-help’ model involves the future tenants participating in painting and decorating, and choosing their own decor and furnishings, to create a place that feels like a home. The accommodation includes everything that a homeless young person needs to make a home: full furniture, floor coverings, curtains, appliances, pots and pan, crockery and cutlery and bedding.
Eva is one of these individuals, due to move in a month after our visit. She has been homeless and forced to 'sofa surf' since the age of 11. Following a recommendation to contact Canopy, she is finally going to have a safe and permanent place to live. The project started just two months ago and already Eva has found a job which she will start shortly after moving in.
Two other properties in the LandAid-funded project are already complete and have provided construction training to 11 unemployed young people and another 35 volunteers so far.
It was incredible to have the opportunity to visit the empty homes project in Leeds and meet the individuals behind these fantastic projects. It certainly has opened my eyes on the vast difference our money raised has made and given us a new drive to go above and beyond this year to see another home created. This year we have high hopes of doubling our fundraising efforts and are currently inviting teams to join us in this year’s Landaid Money Maker Challenge.