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Agents Do Charity - reaching for the sky

A variety of charities have received support from the property industry this week.

If there are charitable endeavours you think the rest of the industry should know about, please email us on press@estateagenttoday.co.uk, or get in touch via our social platforms, and we’ll do the rest.

Sheldon Bosley Knight: One of Sheldon Bosley Knight’s planning team has helped raise more than £57,000 – and counting – for charity.


Associate director, and head of the planning and architecture department, Natasha Blackmore da Silva joined more than 100 others to abseil down Coventry Cathedral for Myton Hospice.

The event, on March 16, is held annually and aims to raise vital funds for the Midlands-based hospice which provides palliative care to those in need.

As well as the hospices themselves, Myton’s teams are also on hand for the friends and relatives of those they care for, to ensure they are supported through what is a challenging and stressful time.

It is the fourth time Natasha has done the abseil which she signed up to do first in March 2020.

She said: “It took 20 minutes to climb to the top but only 10 minutes to get down.

“It was a lovely day, and I always enjoy meeting people who have their own special reason for taking part in the challenge.
“It was nice to have so many people come out to support us, and I can’t believe we have already thrashed our £34,000 target!”

Find out more and donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/natasha-blackmore-da-silva3 
Barratt Homes: Housebuilder Barratt Homes has donated £1,500 to independent Richmond upon Thames charity, Skylarks.  

Skylarks works to support children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and their families. It provides a range of free activities for SEN children and their siblings, such as inclusive play, drama, karate, life skills and careers development to uplift children’s confidence and skills.   
The charity also offers support including information and advice for over 4000 registered families across the UK. It regularly hosts talks, courses and peer support groups for parents and carers of  children with additional needs.   

The contribution from Barratt North Thames will help support the running costs of Skylarks as it continues to grow, enabling the charity to provide an inclusive environment for children with additional needs to build lasting relationships and the opportunity to develop through play, activities, and therapies.  

The donation comes from The Barratt Foundation, the housebuilder’s charity partnership, which supports children, young people and disadvantaged groups wherever Barratt Developments PLC, of which Barratt Homes is a part, operate across the UK.  

Marc Woolfe, sales and marketing director for Barratt North Thames commented, “Skylarks offers invaluable activities and advice for  children with disabilities and their families, and we are proud to support its running costs as it continues to grow. Building a thriving community is more than just building homes and we hope this donation will enable the charity to work with even more families this year.”  

Aaron Guiver, managing director at Skylarks added, “On behalf of the entire charity, the children who we support and their families too, I want to express our heartfelt thanks to Barratt North Thames for their generosity. Skylarks offers a range of support that reflects the diverse needs of the children, young people and families that we work with. This donation will help us to continue to offer this support while we grow as an organisation.”  

Agents Giving: Industry charity Agents Giving is reminding agents about its Grant Fund, supported by The Guild of Property Professionals.

This fund exists to help towards the costs of any fundraising challenge or event that you might be organising, meaning more of the money you raise goes to your own chosen charities.

If you are organising any fundraising Agents Giving could help with a grant of up to £350, depending on your anticipated fundraising target as well as support you with the promotion of your event.

David Newnes, chairman of Agents Giving, said: “We are very thankful to The Guild of Property Professionals for their support with the Grant Fund via their referral scheme. The fund offers a real helping hand for agents fundraising allowing them to provide additional support for their charities."

Last year, more than £600,000 was raised for UK charities helping the industry with their fundraising efforts.

Requests can be made via the Agents Giving website: http://agentsgiving.org/the-agents-giving-grant-fund

Annington: Property firm Annington, the company responsible for refurbishing former Ministry of Defence housing, is supporting the Queen’s Award-winning charity Building Heroes with a donation of £75,000, which includes a £25,000 donation towards the introduction of Green Skills Training Academies.

As the industry estimates that more than 100,000 people will need to be recruited and upskilled to carry out the UK’s net zero projects, the partnership between Annington and Building Heroes aims to address the urgent ‘green’ skills gap in construction.

The first Building Heroes Green Skills Academy, launching this month in Gateshead, will facilitate the training of a brand-new cohort of veterans and Service leavers, preparing them for a career within refurbishment and retrofit in the built environment.

The five-week course will train veterans and service leavers to become Retrofit Assessors to improve energy efficiency in homes. 

The first cohort commences on 26 February in Gateshead for five weeks, with the second Academy set to open in Southwark, London in Autumn 2024.

Jane Harsham, sustainability manager at Annington, said: “The growing demand for ‘green’ skills within construction provides significant employment opportunities for veterans and those leaving the Services.  Qualified Retrofit Surveyors look set to be in high demand as the UK tackles the considerable task of retrofitting the nation’s building stock.  We are delighted to support Building Heroes Green Skills academies and their aspirations to train a generation of individuals who will help deliver the UK’s ambition to create more low-carbon homes.”

Nicola Schneider, head of corporate partners at Building Heroes, added: “We are deeply thankful for Annington’s generous support as we inaugurate our new training programme. This initiative aims to empower service leavers and the military community with the skills essential for enhancing our homes and advancing towards a more sustainable future.

“Bringing our sustainability plans to life is an exhilarating milestone for Building Heroes, and we are delighted to welcome our inaugural cohort to the Gateshead Academy. By offering supported and accessible training opportunities, we aim to pave the way for former service personnel to achieve successful civilian careers within this growing sector of the construction industry.”

Nicol & Co:  Worcestershire estate agency Nicol & Co has joined up with Mindful Financial Planning to provide a little egg-stra family fun later this month with an Easter Egg Hunt.

The event takes place from 10am to 3pm on Good Friday 29 March at Droitwich Cricket Club, with the hunt trail running around nearby Lido Park and St Peter’s Church.

It is the second year running that Nicol & Co and Mindful Financial Planning are running the Easter Egg Hunt, following last year’s successful event that saw around 145 eggs won by local families.

Martyn Davies of Mindful Financial Planning, who is also chair of Droitwich Cricket Club, said: “We’re really looking forward to another Easter Egg Hunt for the whole community in Droitwich.

“Families taking part are given clues and the children have to go around and collect all of the stamps which will be placed at each location. Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be available.

“We are pleased to be getting involved for the second year running with our great partners at Nicol & Co.”

Matt Nicol, managing director of Nicol & Co, is close to the club himself, as both a main club sponsor and as an avid supporter of the team.

Nicol said: “Everyone enjoyed last year’s event so much that we were keen to get involved again and to provide a bit of fun for families this Easter.

“It will be great to see people out and about, hopefully enjoying the sunny weather and celebrating Easter by finding enough clues to win themselves a delicious chocolate egg!

“Nicol & Co always enjoys being active in events like this which help to bring the wider community together.

Fine & Country: On 16 May, Jon Cooke, chief executive of nurtur.group, Sean Newman of Fine & Country Midlands and Craig Dyce, current age group World and European Duathlon Champion, will lace up their running shoes to embark on an incredible journey along the Grand Union Canal Towpath. 

The route spans 154 miles, beginning at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham, winding through the picturesque countryside of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, and the Chilterns, before concluding their epic run at Fine & Country's Park Lane office in London.

The trio will cover approximately 34 miles per day over the course of five days, with an expected finish date of 20/21 May 2024, depending on their progress. 

While Cooke and Dyce plan to run the route, Newman will be walking. They extend an open invitation to anyone who wishes to join them on a leg of the route, encouraging participation and camaraderie along the way. People are welcome to join, opting to either walk, run, or bike a section of the route. For those unable to join in person, they can still show their support by offering words of encouragement and making donations.

The primary purpose is to raise funds for the Fine & Country Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over £940,000. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Cooke and Newman aim to help reach the £1 million milestone with this fundraising effort.

Commenting on the initiative, Cooke, who is also the trustee of the Foundation, said: "Running and walking the length of the Grand Union Canal Towpath is not only a physical challenge but also an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We're honoured to support the Fine & Country Foundation's vital work and are committed to reaching our fundraising goal."
Newman added: "The Foundation's mission resonates deeply with both Jon and I. As we embark on this journey, we invite individuals and communities to join us in our efforts to raise awareness and funds for those experiencing hardship."

Find out more and donate: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/grandunionchallenge


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