The property industry has long been renowned for its generosity when it comes to charity as many developers, agents and investors are involved in either giving to good causes or hosting events designed to raise money. However, on this year’s LandAid Day, the industry truly surpassed itself, with the initiative on track to collectively raise £100,000.
Last Thursday, a total of 50 property and construction firms in more than 12 cities throughout the UK hosted events in order to fundraise for disadvantaged children and young people nationwide.
The money raised will contribute to a new £1 million funding programme aiming to bring vacant properties back into use for young people who are either homeless or at severe risk of becoming so.
The activities undertaken by the companies involved were many and varied, and collectively raised a huge amount for charity.
Particular highlights included the contributions from Paragon Building Consultancy, which attempted to break the world record for the number of Jaffa Cakes eaten in one minute – the winner fell eight short of the world record, although the final total of nine was a valiant effort (pictured below).
Directors of Carter Jonas, meanwhile, were subjected to the stocks outside One Chapel Place and pelted with wet sponges.
Not to be outdone, Helical Bar Chief Executive Mike Slade channelled his inner astronaut by dressing up as Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear as he and his colleagues engaged in a sponsored cycle around Mayfair in “out of this world” costumes (pictured top).
Several firms chose to inject a touch of humour into proceedings, particularly Levy Real Estate, which parodied the concept of budget airlines by transforming its office into LevyJet for the day. Staff members “jumping on board” were charged a fee for virtually any activity conducted – including booking meeting rooms, using the lift and turning up late.
Elsewhere, Redwood Consulting also chose to transform the office environment, but this time their headquarters became an auction room. Staff were able to bid on a range of top prizes, from a day of annual leave to a weekend stay in Bath and a Swedish banquet, under the watchful eye of LandAid CEO Paul Morrish who conducted the bidding process.
Bilfinger GVA transformed their office into a crazy golf course, where senior industry figures took to the green for a Senior Partner Golf Challenge hosted by CEO Rob Bould.
Elsewhere Pinsent Masons London office enjoyed a morning of peace and quiet, as senior consultant David Taylor undertook a sponsored silence (pictured below).
Yet special mention must go to two firms that truly went above and beyond to demonstrate their dedication to the cause – namely, Bellenden and Knight Frank.
The former embarked upon a gruelling 40 mile Town Hall Trek, waking in the wee hours of the morning to walk the streets connecting the 12 town halls of the Inner London Councils. Despite the fact that one unwary staff member opted for skinny jeans on the epic journey, all managed to complete the walk in a hugely impressive time of just over 13 hours.
Knight Frank, meanwhile, embraced its charitable spirit by engaging in a programme of high octane activities such as relay running, skyscraper abseiling, mountain climbing and Monopoly board walking as part of the firm’s bi-annual Day of Giving, which this year aimed to raise £125,000 for five charities.
Staff members nationwide gave it their all, and two teams even attempted to utilise their negotiating powers to get as far away from the office as possible with no cash in their pockets – the winning team, despite some clever Photoshop work, only made it as far as Sunderland and not, as their photo would have you believe, the Belgian capital Brussels!
LandAid chief executive Paul Morrish thanked all involved for their stellar efforts on the day.
He said; “That so many people, from all levels of seniority and from such a wide array of companies, took time out on LandAid Day to have fun helping raise funds to support LandAid’s work underscores both the industry’s generosity and commitment to tackling disadvantage, and the unique relationship the industry has with its own charity, LandAid.
“And that effort will make a huge difference. We’re quietly confident that we’ll have beaten our fundraising target of £100,000 – enough to refurbish three empty homes for young people who’ve slept rough, and to offer training and employment for young people in construction skills to undertake the refurbishment.
“A huge thank you to everyone who took part, and to everyone who gave a donation. You helped make LandAid Day 2015 one of the most successful ever.”
As part of LandAid Day 2015, the charity launched a grants programme which is now open for applications. More information can be found by clicking here.