Community News 2021
500K Challenge raises £119,000 for The Prince’s Trust
Over the last three weeks Barratt David Wilson Homes colleagues have walked, run, cycled, rowed and hiked to raise money for The Prince’s Trust in the 500K Challenge.
All divisions were challenged to cover 500,000 metres and raise at least £1,000 to help support young people. The Kent division have been crowned winners of both the fundraising and distance leaderboards and will now receive £15,000 in Group funding to help support their chosen charities.
West Scotland and East Scotland divisions finished in 2nd and 3rd place and will receive £10,000 and £5,000 funding respectively to support charities of their choice.
With more than 5,000 activities submitted, colleagues covered a total 41,712,000m (more than the circumference of the Earth!) and raised around £119,000 for The Prince’s Trust, an incredible amount that will make such a big difference to so many young lives.
Proud to be a Macmillan sponsor
The new Barratt Foundation is sponsoring a Macmillan nurse for the next three years following a recent donation of £180,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support, helping to ensure more people have access to support during cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Macmillan rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations for 98% of their funds. Presently, donations are more important than ever; during 2020 alone 650,000 people with cancer in the UK (22%) experienced disruption to their treatment or care because of the pandemic.
Over the next three years Barratt David Wilson Homes will work closely with Macmillan to provide workplace training, guidance and resources across the business, to help support employees affected by cancer.
If you would like to talk to someone the Macmillan Support Line number is 0808 808 00 00, 8am – 8pm, available 7 days a week or you can visit https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support to access their support guide.
93 employees win 2021 Pride in the Job Quality Awards
NHBC’s Pride in the Job Quality Awards recognise site managers who achieve the highest standards in housebuilding across the UK.
NHBC registered sites employ more than 11,000 Site Managers across the UK. A total 450 awards were given in 2021, with Barratt David Wilson Homes Site Managers winning 93 of these awards.
Steven Boyes, BDW Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re proud to have received even more awards than last year, and more than any other housebuilder for an incredible seventeen consecutive years, demonstrating our commitment to leading the future of housebuilding by putting our customers at the heart of everything we do.
Winning a Pride in the Job Award is not only a fantastic achievement for our site managers, but also for their teams. With site teams, subcontractors and suppliers working together to achieve high standards, Leading Construction continues to be a key component of our Vision, Priorities and Principles. I know everyone around the business will join me in congratulating each and every one of our winning site managers”.
76th VE Day commemmorated with 300 ‘Tommy’ figures
Barratt David Wilson Homes has become the first corporate patron of The Tommy Club. As a strong supporter of the country’s armed forces, attracting over 100 veterans into the business through its Armed Forces Transition Programme, Barratt Developments has purchased 300 “Tommy” figures for display in the gardens of its show homes across the country in addition to donated £100,000 to the Tommy Club.
Launched in 2020, the Tommy Club raises money for the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) charity, which has been providing jobs, homes, and mental health support for ex services personnel throughout the worst of the current pandemic.
The term Tommy was coined during WWI when German soldiers would call out to ‘Tommy’ across No Man’s Land if they wanted to speak to a British soldier. The Tommy figure, with head bowed, has become a universal symbol of gratitude and commemoration to all those who have served in the armed forces.
Each garden Tommy is put together by veterans working for the RBLI’s unique social enterprise “Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company”, which creates more jobs for ex-armed forces personnel and raises crucial funds for the charity.
David Wilson brings Nature to Your Doorstep
Barratt David Wilson Homes has been working in partnership with the RSPB since 2014. Their latest joint project, Nature on Your Doorstep, offers advice and inspiration for people to turn their outdoor spaces (including gardens, balconies and community green spaces) into wildlife havens.
The project follows a marked increase in people seeking to rediscover local nature and make their gardens more wildlife friendly during the pandemic, as evidenced by the 1.7 million requests for advice from the RSPB received in 2020 and a record breaking one million participants in this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
Nature on Your Doorstep will give people access to how-to gardening guides, step-by-step videos by RSPB wildlife gardening expert Adrian Thomas, seasonal gardening advice, a monthly newsletter and an online community dedicated to bringing people together to ask questions, seek advice, and share experience.
The project will evolve to host customisable content and conduct research into what drives or prevents people from creating wildlife friendly outside spaces, both privately and at a community shared-spaces level.
To turn your patch into paradise for you and your wildlife, please go to: rspb.org.uk/yourdoorstep.
Fundraising matched for The Oddballs Foundation
Six friends, including Barratt David Wilson Homes employee Haydn Bula, walked 574 miles around the Portsmouth area over the course of a month to raise funds The Oddballs Foundation, a charity which raises awareness of testicular cancer and how early detection can make it treatable and even curable.
After far exceeding the original 500 mile target, 28-year-old Haydn told his colleagues at Barratt David Wilson Homes about his achievement, and the company agreed to match the amount to bring the grand total raised for The Oddballs Foundation to £2,118.
Haydn, a sales adviser at the New Quarter development in Bordon, said: ‘The Oddballs Foundation is making a difference to male health around the world, and this support will be of huge benefit. I’m so grateful to Barratt Homes for matching our final donation amount.
Tammy Bishop, Sales Director at the Southampton Division, said: ‘When we heard that Haydn and his friends were embarking on this trek for charity, we had to help out... Barratt Homes is committed to supporting charities in the region, and to find out that one of our employees was doing the same, is great to hear – massive congratulations to them all.’
#ChooseToChallenge: a diverse workforce for a successful business
Monday 8 March marked International Women’s Day 2021, which this year comes with the theme #ChooseToChallenge, encouraging women to call out gender bias and inequality.
The number of female construction workers has increased steadily over the past 12 years, but the proportion of women in property and construction industries remains low and research by the union for construction workers (GMB) suggests that, at the current rate, women won’t equal men until 2194.
Female employees occupy numerous roles across Barratt David Wilson Homes, though a majority male workforce is still reflected with 69% men to 31% women. This is well-placed among other major UK developers, however, including Taylor Wimpey (31%), Bellway (29%), and Persimmon (25%).
As an equal opportunities’ employer, the company ensures there are roles for everyone regardless of gender, race or background and works hard to encourage more women to consider careers in construction.
With 20 years of experience in the property industry Krystina Haimes, sales manager at BDW Southampton, reports having always felt supported in her role, saying: “Some may be put off as they think there are long hours and lots of travelling involved. I have a family and I can honestly say this job is so rewarding, with plenty of flexibility when I need it.”
24-year-old marketing executive Lydia Perrin commented positively on the way colleges are encouraging women into the industry, saying: “Where there are more men in a particular role, like in construction, there are more females entering that arena because colleges are doing more to encourage women into those roles... They want to see women represented, so they do all they can to make those roles attractive.”
BDW Southampton’s development director, Julian Jones, who has 25 years’ experience in the property industry, says “When I first started out in the industry, women appeared to be restricted to admin roles, sales or finance,” he said. “That is changing throughout the business both locally and nationally and females are now holding key roles in areas like site mangers and commercial staff, that previously would have been considered a male domain... From a personal perspective I have always sought to have a mixed department whether it was in technical or the land/planning function. Women and men approach roles very differently and having female staff can actually be a USP – certainly in my role as they can offer that different outlook and give you an edge over the competition.”
David Wilson Homes assists local charity to tackle loneliness
The charity FitzRoy, which supports people with learning disabilities and autism, has received vital support from Barratt and David Wilson Homes during the pandemic. While we’ve all felt the missing charities such as FitzRoy have been tackling the impact of loneliness on more vulnerable individuals.
FitzRoy’s Love4Life project, with bases in Fareham and Basingstoke, helps its members build friendships and relationships in a safe and supportive environment by offering a range of social, sporting and educational activities as well as chaperoned dates and relationship advice.
When lockdown restrictions prevented Love4Life activities from taking place in person, Barratt Developments donated £1,000 to FitzRoy, which assisted them in adapting their services to be delivered online so that members could remain connected throughout the pandemic.
Tammy Bishop, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ Southampton division, said: “The fact that FitzRoy offer a Love4Life project that helps connect people didn’t only strike a chord with us given the current situation, but we also thought it was a great fit for the month of February.”
Hayley Ostler, Love4Life Coordinator, said: “Love4Life is vital, not just for making friends and widening social circles, but also for people’s mental health. Isolation and loneliness have become even more acute for those living with learning disabilities during the pandemic. We thank Barratt and David Wilson Homes for their generous support as we do our best to reach more people who are currently living a life of lockdown.”
Southampton care home receives £1,000 boost after year of isolation
Barratt David Wilson Homes has given its support to The Abbeyfield Society with a £1,000 donation from its Community Fund Scheme, which donates £1,000 per month to regional causes.
The Abbeyfield Society provides high-quality living accommodation, supported housing and care at home within the UK and internationally. Throughout the pandemic the charity’s care homes have been particularly impacted, both financially and emotionally, with residents experiencing separation from families at great detriment to their mental wellbeing. Care workers have had to find creative ways to help residents stay connected whilst also staying safe, such as outdoor and screened visits, and visiting ‘hubs’ where residents can talk to their loved ones safely.
Speedwell Court in Southampton is one such purpose-built Abbeyfield care home providing residential and dementia-friendly care services to its residents. Staff have been maximizing the use of their gardens, ensuring that residents are able to enjoy the fresh air outdoors.
Deborah Holmes, Customer Relations Manager at Speedwell Court, said: “We’ve wanted to purchase garden equipment to kit out our new greenhouse and a rotavator that will be used to make an allotment space for our residents. Gardening, and being outside, is widely recognised as a brilliant way to maintain good mental and physical health... We are very grateful to Barratt and David Wilson Homes for this incredible support, and look forward to seeing our residents enjoying their new equipment.”
Tammy Bishop, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ Southampton Division, said: “It has taken a lot of extra effort for care homes like Speedwell Court to keep their residents safe and occupied during the pandemic, and with restrictions on visits, the isolation must have been extremely difficult for some... It is wonderful that charities like Abbeyfield have gone above and beyond to ensure they can still offer a caring and supportive environment in such a challenging time, and they truly deserve our support.”
£2,000 Lifeline to Hampshire Charities during UK lockdown
Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes donated £ 1,000 each to the Good Neighbors Network and Unity in Test Valley as part of their Community Fund Scheme, which provides ongoing support to local causes that improve the quality of life for people living in the region.
The Good Neighbors Network supports 120 independent volunteer groups in Hampshire. Each group offers daily acts of kindness to their local community, such as transportation, shopping and prescription delivery, all of which were vital during the ongoing pandemic. Good Neighbors volunteers successfully delivered more than 44,000 acts of kindness to individuals throughout lockdown.
Karen Jordan, Good Neighbor Network team leader, said: “Most Good Neighbor groups are very dependent on donations and the generous support of their volunteers. During the pandemic, groups saw a drop in funding and also a drop in the number of volunteers due to protection needs. This generous donation means that each group can continue to provide the much needed support directly to the people who need it most.”
Unity oversees the work of various charities and groups in the Test Valley area. The organisation recruited more than 5,000 volunteers and coordinated 70 groups across the region in December 2020 to provide assistance during the ongoing pandemic.
Unity’s Chief Executive Terry Bishop said: “Unity reacted quickly to the Covid pandemic by developing a helpline for people who were isolating or protecting, as well as a callback service for people struggling with their mental health… It means a lot that Barratt and David Wilson Homes recognized the work that organizations like ours are doing, and we are very grateful to have been one of the lucky recipients of the Community Fund. We will be using the fund to keep this helpline open and offer help to those in desperate need. “
Tammy Bishop, Sales Director for Barratt Developments’ Southampton division, said of the donation: “Both Good Neighbors Network and Unity did everything they could to help people across the region during 2020, and I am very grateful that we can give them this well-deserved boost.”
Tablets and stationery donated to Chichester school in need of lockdown support
Barratt David Wilson Homes has offered support to schools and parents to help with distance learning over lockdown, providing tablets, paper, pens, pencils and other stationery to several local schools.
March C of E School in Chichester received 10 boxes of A4 paper and two Amazon Fire tablets, a package worth around £250.
Rachel Bryan, March C of E School Business Manager, said of the support: “Homeschooling is currently a challenge for families across the country, and without access to a suitable device, this challenge is exemplified tenfold. These items will make a real difference to us at such a critical time and I therefore just wanted to put on record our thanks for the support and generosity during these challenging times for schools. We can’t thank Anthony and the team at Barratt Homes enough for their support.”
Anthony Dimmick is thrilled that the housebuilder has been able to assist, saying “We are committed to help the communities we develop in, and in such a challenging time, our support is needed more than ever. In a time where the pressure on schools and parents is at an all time high, we are very happy to help where we can.”
Barratt David Wilson Homes works very closely with a number of community projects and schools in the areas in which they build, so that they can provide support, both physically and financially – something that is invaluable particularly under such circumstances as the current covid crisis.
Hampshire charity The Tantrum Trust receives £1,000 cash donation
The Tantum Trust, based in Bordon, provides financial support to individuals, families and community groups across Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey. Starting in a waiting room of a local charity with no paid staff, the Charity raised £12,000 in its first three years. Since then, it has granted £1.25 million to those in need.
The charity has struggled financially during covid pandemic as the UK lockdown brought long closures to four of its charity shops, rendering them unable to bring in much needed funding.
Upon hearing of The Tantrum Trust’s predicament, Barratt David Wilson Homes has stepped up with a £1,000 donation to help the charity continue its vital work.
Sue Nicholson, Charity Manager of The Tatum Trust, has said “We rely heavily on the public donating items and spending in our shops, but the Covid crisis has made it impossible for us to open consistently, leaving us unable to raise vital funds. With Barratt Homes’ help we can continue to offer support to members of our communities that really need it, including those who have struggled because of the pandemic itself.”
Tammy Bishop, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ Southampton division, added “In such a challenging year for all of us, our local communities have become all the more important. It is wonderful that all the funds raised by The Tatum Trust are fed back into the local area, and I am so grateful that we can give them this well-deserved boost.”