Improving life in the community, from day one

Working in the world of property development and management requires a certain type of mindset. One where your main objective, that of improving places and the lives of those in the community, sustains you through difficult times. Even perfectly run development or regeneration projects will have moments of inactivity, periods of waiting, times when buildings sit empty.

By working with Dot Dot Dot, you can start to make good on your objective of improving places and the lives of those in the community now, far ahead of your projects completion. Bringing in our socially-minded, proactive, warm and creative guardians not only ensures the safety of your buildings, it enriches the community throughout the life of your project, in a whole world of ways.

As well as the standard benefits of guardianship — increasing footfall and bringing money to local shops and services, reducing instances of anti-social behaviour, and being considerate neighbours  — Dot Dot Dot guardians bring a unique and remarkable benefit. Every single one of our guardians volunteers in the community for at least 16 hours per month. But let’s add some colour to that statistic. Our guardians don’t just pay lip service to the idea of volunteering. They share their valuable skills, passions, expertise and care towards the most important causes, in new and innovative ways. They are, by nature, empathetic, generous and warm. Their very presence enriches the area and the wellbeing of those around them.

Our guardian, Basma, moved into one of our west London properties, and made an instant impact. A refugee from Egypt, she is a passionate and life-long volunteer within the refugee community advocating for ending violence against women and girls. She now volunteers with Forward UK, the leading African women-led organisation working on this cause. Basma recently organised an event to celebrate Refugee Week that highlighted the impact refugees have played in society, and how their stories can inspire compassion in the wider community.

Basma is well known and respected in her sector, and the value she brings is exponential, “Through my years of volunteering I’ve built connections and strong networks in the sector so I’m best placed to invite guest speakers and panellists from within the refugee community.” – Basma Kamel.

Another guardian, Roberto, tried a variety of volunteering roles before finding one that really spoke to his passions and talents. He is now a mentor at Just Like Us, a charity which supports LGBTQ+ young people through higher education and the start of their careers, by pairing them with LGBTQ+ professionals to offer career advice.

“Starting your career or joining a new workplace can be a daunting experience for LGBTQ+ people” explains Roberto. “My mentee is currently studying at university, and we’ve been setting goals and thinking about preparation together. We’re currently focusing on building his confidence and drawing out what makes him special. One of things I enjoy most as a mentor is the direct impact you have.”

When our guardian, Bea, first arrived at her temporary home in Thamesmead she was keen to find the life and soul of the community. But she noticed a real lack of community engagement — there were almost no local events for adults. So, as a lover of stand up comedy, Bea organised a six week long comedy workshop for local residents which culminated in the ‘Thamesmead is Funny’ open mic night, sponsored by Peabody and Dot Dot Dot. One workshop participant told Bea that learning comedy brought playfulness back to her life after a difficult few years. Despite being only a temporary resident, Bea’s impact will endure for many years to come.

These kinds of stories make for heartwarming reading, and can really help motivate your organisation and its stakeholders by showing how their hard work, determination and investment in the project is paying off. So, we at Dot Dot Dot will continually share  volunteering success stories, as well as key stats and data around the positive impact.

The value of these very human stories and interactions is echoed by our clients.

“Our goal is to lead change by offering a new approach to development that is customer and community-focused, plus creating places where people feel they truly belong.  The guardians’ fantastic commitment to voluntary work creates a valuable contribution to local communities,” – David Gelling, Managing Director at This Land, former Dot Dot Dot client in Cambridgeshire.

Beyond the fantastic reputational benefits, as they may be referred to in CSR terms, in real terms these stories mean that your business is truly making the world, your little bit of it at least, a much better and safer place.

Dot Dot Dot volunteers have been an invaluable resource in our journey to reopen the high street. Together we’ve launched a fruit and veg pop up shop, a podcast and rehearsal room, a hanging garden, a Covid-19 response and so much more. It’s been incredibly fun and they feel like part of the team.

Paige Perillat