RICS’s Pledge150 campaign aims to raise enough money to create 150 bed spaces for young homeless people around the UK. Erin Peart, Board Member for RICS North East, recently visited one of the LandAid projects that the campaign will fund: SHAID (Single Homelessness Action in Durham).
Reflecting on her visit to SHAID, Erin says: ‘It was clear from visiting SHAID that this was more than emergency housing. This was a community’, a place where people were supported and everyone, from residents to staff, were actively involved in not only finding more permanent accommodation but also providing support to find employment, education and healthcare.’
This project will support young early leavers’ in Durham – young people who due to injuries, mental health issues or not reaching the required standard, are forced to leave the armed services before completing the first five years of service. It is the only accommodation project for early leavers’ in the whole of County Durham.
Erin says: ‘I was blown away at the level of work being undertaken to refurbish Hollyacres, a former care home adjacent to the SHAID property. This will allow SHAID to provide 15 additional self-contained flats, an amazing increase in the support they can provide, but obviously this comes at a cost. As a member of the RICS I’m proud to be involved in raising money to help this amazing cause so close to home.’
“I’m proud to be involved in raising money to help this amazing cause so close to home”
£30,000, once raised by RICS members, will support this accommodation project and fully fund the creation of three bed spaces for young people who are homeless. This will give them a safe, warm place to live and access to the right support, so they can begin to rebuild their lives.
Erin says: ‘It is shocking to think that in the 21st century in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, 80,000 of our young people won’t have somewhere safe to sleep at night this year.
‘I’m really proud to be involved in Pledge150, and it’s important that more RICS members support the campaign as the property industry can, and should, make a real difference to the homelessness epidemic. By uniting together – through Pledge150 – professionals working in the built environment can have a hugely positive impact on homelessness and help create more safe accommodation for young homeless people, giving them the fresh start they need to improve their life.’
“Professionals working in the built environment can have a hugely positive impact on homelessness”
After visiting SHAID, Erin was inspired to support the charity’s renovation project in another way. She persuaded some contractors – two joiners, two plumbers and two labourers – along with 10-15 surveyors, to help her volunteer with the project. Last Friday, the group spent the entire day at SHAID, helping them with their building work.
Erin says: “A big thank you to C&D Builders who allowed us to borrow plumbers, joiners and labourers for the day and Gleeds, Knight Frank LLP, Hanro Group and DWF LLP who allowed their staff a volunteer day to help out.”
We look forward to seeing the completed project, which thanks to RICS members, will give a safe place to live to young people who need it the most.