Our values recognise the importance we place on being community minded; of playing an integral part in our villages.
We work with not-for-profit organisations, charities, educational establishments and other local community groups, recognising that our long-term support enables them to make a difference in their activities. Our support takes a variety of forms: money, in-kind donations through space; advice and time given by employees, both volunteering or through working with community groups.
Our strategy is set by the Community Investment Committee, chaired by Andrew Price, with employees from across the Company. We focus on areas where investment has the ability to influence and impact our villages. Activities during the year have included:
- our annual community breakfast which brings together our stakeholders in an informal atmosphere together with local councillors and an external speaker enables networking between over 36 stakeholder groups.
- introduced volunteering leave for employees, with take-up of 74 hours.
- GivX award recognising the level of community giving.
- installation of Good Box tap donation points where contactless payments make instant donations. These were used for Tap London (homeless Christmas campaign), The Fawcett Society and ZSL for its People For Wildlife pop-up.
- co-sponsor of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation annual tea dance (part of Silver Sunday) for 1,000 Westminster residents aged 65 and over.
- Soho Music Month had an educational element as part of the month long activities. This involved working with young people for their ONC Advanced Project Management certification.
- in collaboration with London College of Fashion, we provided two recent tailoring graduates with studio space in Carnaby, using this space as a launch for their fledgling businesses (see Kingly Street Tailors opposite).
- we sponsor a daytime outreach worker from the Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields, a charity tackling homelessness.
- we sponsored Pride in London and provided a pop-up shop for the month leading up to the event in July 2019.
- we fund the part-time advisory post at the Chinese Community Centre.
We often link our community support with marketing and events so that community groups are able to leverage from these activities to raise the profile of their organisations and funds at the same time. We may also provide short-term space as part of the activity.
In 2019, our contribution totalled £0.82 million, equivalent to 1.5% of EPRA earnings, as set out opposite. We measure this in accordance with LBG, a recognised benchmark.