We take great pride in our community and charity work, which has been more important than ever during the pandemic.
A key area of focus for us is our support for the homeless population. We work with a handful of social housing clients and have created a number of partnerships to help homeless people find work.
Optivo has a number of Georgian properties that have been converted to studio bedsits for tenants. We engage with Optivo’s tenants who are out of work by bringing them back into the workplace by employing them 4 days a week, providing bespoke training programmes and site-specific experience and skills to get them job-ready.
Chequers and One Housing have a collaborative project called Renovo. This project supports people in the Arlington location who are making the transition from homelessness to independent living, or those on low-income who are struggling to afford anywhere to live. Renovo engages with the residents to encourage those interested in a career in cleaning to sign up to its BICS academy training centre in Camden. The centre trains homeless individuals and provides recognised qualifications that can help them get a job in the cleaning industry.
Legacy Youth Zone
In addition to this, Chequers and Renovo are founding patrons of Legacy Youth Zone in Croydon, a charity and purpose-built facility for the borough’s young people aged 8 – 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities.
The charity has been instrumental in providing support during the pandemic, even if it was unable to open its doors. In the last few months it has distributed more than 3,800 food packages, made over 250 calls to young members, and sent more than 100 activity packs that include books, craft activities and playing cards.
As well as established partnerships, we carry out other community work throughout the year.
Last November, we set up a pop-up shelter in Camden which was around until the onset of the pandemic. The shelter housed approximately 30 beds, all of which were provided by Chequers, along with other essentials such as food, clothing and hygiene products. Our employees donated and purchased new items for the shelter and regularly volunteered their time to help feed the homeless and spend time with them, especially during the Christmas period which is particularly tough.
As the lockdown eases we look forward to getting back to more hands-on community work as and when safe.