What motivates you to support LandAid as a member of the Patrons Network?
My involvement with LandAid started when former Chair, Rob Bould asked me to join the Fundraising Committee in the early 2000s.
Since then, I’ve always been involved in LandAid in various ways and have enjoyed watching it grow. I participated in Party Near the Park, as one of Liz Peace’s backing singers, and persuaded my husband, Justin, to run the London Marathon for LandAid in 2017.
When I was invited to be a Patron, it was a real privilege. I would always want to support LandAid in some form but this is a great way to be asked to do so.
Why does the Patrons Network in particular appeal to you as a means to support LandAid to end youth homelessness?
The Network provides me personally, as a leader in the property industry, with a great way to network, whilst knowing that we all have a shared influence on such a relevant cause for our industry.
People within the property industry are in a very lucky position – it is an affluent industry. And working within the built environment, LandAid’s mission is absolutely relevant to us, today more than ever. If we harness our collective skills, we can bring a lot to bear.
A small action on your part – introducing LandAid to the Hilton Foundation – resulted in a significant amount of support and potential new leads. Tell us about how this came about.
It’s all very well being a Patron but I want to do something practical and meaningful. I want to know what I can actually do to support LandAid in real terms.
During a call with the LandAid team, one idea came up to potentially do something with Hilton. Frogmore own a Hilton Hotel and I knew they had a Foundation focused on youth issues. It was a simple case of putting people in touch with each other, and that then led to LandAid being one of the beneficiaries of the annual Hilton Foundation Gala Dinner.
Following on from that one small idea, the LandAid team then had the opportunity to network at the dinner and, I understand, are starting to develop relationships with the other guests in attendance that night. There is also ongoing collaboration with Hilton regarding training, work experience and potential employment for some of the young people LandAid helps.
What is your advice for how other members of LandAid’s Patrons Network can use their connections to make equally small, but impactful, connections?
One 20 minute phone call with LandAid is all it took. This then mushroomed into thousands of pounds worth of support and a number of fresh connections for the team to follow up.
For any other Patrons reading this, just know that no idea too small, and no brief chat is wasted time. You never know what your ideas, thoughts and connections in the industry could lead to.
What, in the future, would you like to get out of being a member of the Patron’s Network? How would you like to see it grow, and what extra potential do you see the Network having?
Members of the Patrons Network are likely to always be rubbing shoulders with the great and the good in the industry, and are always having conversations. Even if two Patrons are having lunch together, just for them to spend 10 minutes talking about LandAid and what they could do, could be a game-changer.
The problem for me is that I now feel like I’ve got to up my game! I’ve set myself a high bar….just offering a prize for the next raffle isn’t going to cut it now!
I feel now like I’m a representative of LandAid – it’s a responsibility to do everything I can, however small. That short conversation made me realise that I do have access to things that can bring positive change for young people experiencing homelessness.