Working with Peabody for the future of Thamesmead

January 13, 2021

Built in the 1960s and deemed ‘the town of tomorrow’, Thamesmead’s distinctive brutalist architecture has been the backdrop to several culturally significant works of film and TV throughout the last 60 years, from A Clockwork Orange to Harry Potter. More recently, with the help of Peabody’s community investment, it has become a hub for culture and the arts and is home to Thamesmead festival and myriad community projects.

Since 2015, Dot Dot Dot have collaborated with Peabody to house property guardians in 120 properties in Thamesmead over the course of the housing association’s 10-year regeneration of the area. Over the last five years, we have housed almost 300 guardians in buildings that would otherwise be empty, and those guardians have contributed over 45,000 hours to worthwhile causes.

We take pride in our ability to be sensitive and responsive to our clients’ specific needs. We have the resources to conduct market research for our clients to gather both qualitative and quantitative data from our guardians. This valuable service gives our clients insight into who we house, where they volunteer their time and their contributions to their local economy and community.

After some discussions in the autumn about how to bring more value to the partnership, we conducted a survey to give Peabody a greater insight into the economic and social contribution of our guardians. 

Bringing economic regeneration to Thamesmead

Peabody are particularly interested in boosting Thamesmead’s local economy, not only for the inhabitants of post-regeneration Thamesmead but also for its current residents. Property guardianship can be an effective way to bring footfall and boost economic development in an area. 

We conducted phone interviews alongside the online survey to gather both qualitative and quantitative data from the 38 guardians (75% of resident guardians) that took part . A third of our guardians in Thamesmead run their own businesses, and, of those, 77% were based in Thamesmead. These businesses covered a multitude of areas, including dance teaching, project management, hairdressing, beauty, handywork, painting/decorating, media services, art production, young people and education, and poetry. Not only is it testament to how guardians can boost their local economy, but also to the sheer diversity of skill sets amongst the people we house.

Creating and sustaining a sense of community in Thamesmead

We have endeavoured throughout our partnership with Peabody to explore how we can best benefit the Thamesmead community. As we ask each of our guardians to volunteer 16 hours a month to a good cause of their choice, we have an invaluable resource that can be directed to local community projects and voluntary efforts. For example, Peabody are particularly aware of the need to help Thamesmead’s most vulnerable residents with grocery and prescription collections during the Covid-19 crisis, and asked us whether our guardians could support their efforts locally. The survey provided a good opportunity to ask guardians if they were interested in local Covid-19 volunteering and Mutual Aid groups, and we were able to direct the relevant people back to Peabody.

Due to a shared interest in social value, Dot Dot Dot and Peabody have a strong alignment of values. We also used the survey as a chance to gauge attitudes towards Thamesmead, and placed particular emphasis on whether guardians would stay in the area after their guardianship ended. Of those asked, 87% said they liked living in Thamesmead and 79% said they would consider living in Thamesmead after their guardianship had ended, making them potential future residents of the newly-renovated estate. In combining property guardianship with social value, we have helped Peabody to create and sustain a sense of community in Thamesmead which will last beyond our meanwhile partnership with them.

Through our sustainable approach to this long-term meanwhile project, Dot Dot Dot has contributed not only to Peabody’s meanwhile objectives for economic and community development in the area, but to their future vision too. To find out more about the history and future of Thamesmead, you can visit: https://www.thamesmeadnow.org.uk. 

 

If you’d like to find out more about how we collaborate with our clients, you can sign up to our newsletter here or get in touch with us at partnerships@dotdotdotproperty.com.

So, who do you house?

December 18, 2020

From our Chief Executive, Peter Brown

We’ve always known that Dot Dot Dot guardians are a dedicated, energetic bunch who are up for sharing their time, skills, energy and compassion through their volunteering. Our work creates homes for people to give their time to support causes they care about.

One of the questions I’m often asked is “so who do you house?” People who haven’t considered being a guardian – or who haven’t heard of the concept – are curious about who would choose to become a guardian. And clients are naturally interested in understanding what kind of person wants to live in their buildings.

We’ve learned more over the last few months about who we house, because we have recently surveyed our guardians about their volunteering and captured demographic information. I’m sharing here a few insights here about the things I see in the data, and you can read more about the benefits our guardians have derived from their volunteering in a blog by Dot Dot Dot’s Founder, Katharine Hibbert.

So what did we learn? First, let’s talk gender. We house more women than men, which perhaps is surprising given property guardianship’s heritage as a ‘security’ activity. That has often conjured up images of guardians roughing it in sub-standard, uncomfortable accommodation, often from the misunderstanding that property guardianship is for would-be security guards who happen to need housing. We turned this the other way round and were clear from the start that we are a housing provider first and foremost (whilst always being clear that we do this on a meanwhile, temporary basis). For us, the important duties that guardians play to support the safety and security of the building where they are based arise alongside that housing.

I think the vetting that we undertake on all guardians is important too, and likely to be reassuring to female applicants, particularly when considering living in shared accommodation. Everyone we house goes through rigorous vetting, and I hope this creates confidence about the values and attributes of housemates that any new guardian will be living alongside. Everyone approaching us for housing knows that everyone else goes through the same vetting and checking process. It can only help too that two-thirds of our staff team are women and that we have always been transparent about our team and who manages our housing (compared to many of our competitors who can be quite cloak and dagger).

Next, on to age. Just over half of Dot Dot Dot guardians are under 34. With younger people disadvantaged in housing and economically locked out of the housing market, it’s not a surprise that more younger people turn to explore other housing ideas such as property guardianship.

The data also shows around one in five of Dot Dot Dot guardians are aged between 45-54 years. There will be likely several reasons for this: we know that some guardians in this age group will be seeking new housing because their life circumstances have changed – perhaps a divorce or a separation. Others in this age group are choosing to try new housing types alongside a deliberate change in their work: becoming entrepreneurs or a change in career that prompts them to choose new surroundings and a new community to live alongside. And at any age, we have guardians seeking the interesting locations and unusual buildings that property guardianship can bring. We know some people love the idea of living in a former school or office building (not always though, and for those we have lots of very ordinary residential buildings on our books!).

When we compare our guardians to the wider London population (where we do the majority of our work) they are more diverse in terms of ethnicity, sexuality and socio-economic background (i.e. those who were in receipt of free school meals). Just under 30% are White British, compared to 44% of the London population; 16% are gay men, gay women or bisexual – compared to 2.6% of the London population; and 28% received free school meals – compared to 17% of both the London and UK populations. It’s a great source of pride to me that we are attracting a broad range of people and providing safe, affordable housing to them.

Regardless of their individual diversity characteristics, what unites our guardians is that they are adaptable, resilient, curious and interested in each other and their neighbours. We hope they share our values and we continue to welcome more of them as we grow and work in new areas and locations.

On the ground: Guardianship that meets your needs

December 18, 2020

From our Director of Services, Mark Ackroyd

In the first of our ‘On the ground’ series, we explore some of the details of how our service works. In future articles, we’ll look in more detail at how we set up, operate and demobilise our service in different settings. In this article, we describe how Dot Dot Dot creates the right division of property management responsibilities for each client.

How to prepare a property for safe occupation can often seem like the most important question. It’s a critical step (both practically and financially), and we will be exploring the setup phase in future articles. But it is important to think more widely about how property management will function across the lifetime of a guardian contract; in many projects, this is the critical factor that helps guardianship deliver the maximum benefit to property owners. From my experience, this is one of the most pressing questions for clients who have to juggle existing property management budgets and pressures.

 

Matching contract responsibilities to client needs

At Dot Dot Dot, we think it is critical to understand not just the properties, but also the needs and operating environments of our clients. The following examples of issues or pressures are likely to be familiar to all property owners, but we find that each client has a unique set of priorities:

  • Mitigating fixed costs (e.g. council tax, utilities, maintenance contracts)
  • Protection against unauthorised occupants or vandalism
  • Removing day-to-day property management demands (e.g. access, security, repairs)
  • Handling core FM functions such as managing a planned maintenance programme
  • Buffering against occasional costs (e.g. roof repairs, flytipping)
  • Controlling long-term dilapidation and disrepair 
  • Reputational or political pressure around property use

Our goal with any client is to offer contract options that are a good match for their specific needs. We can customise and adjust this very finely, but below are some examples of common approaches.

 

Example 1: Like a lease, but not a lease

Under this model, clients hand over properties at a basic standard, and Dot Dot Dot takes on all of the in-life compliance, repair and management responsibilities. This includes the costs, repairs and maintenance that would normally fall to a leaseholder. Property owners or asset managers retain responsibility for block level maintenance (though we can often assist).

This structure has similarities with a leaseholder arrangement, but there is no lease required. Clients can end our service contract with 30 days’ notice. This model works well in many residential settings, and is particularly useful during ongoing decants with an uncertain pipeline of void properties.

 

Example 2: Shared management 

In larger buildings (commercial or residential), many clients wish to retain their own PPM and compliance regimes. One solution is to share the ongoing management with Dot Dot Dot. We can take on the on-site operations and daily FM responsibilities at the property, including responsive repairs. In major assets, this might include establishing suites of operating procedures and monitoring regimes.

By working with existing safety systems and regimes, we can simplify the cost structure and workload of our client. This leaves them free to focus on predictable upkeep, and on securing the next phase of the building’s life. This is a collaborative approach for hands-on clients. It can be a great solution for complex assets where owners or asset managers want to solve security or FM problems, but need close control of financial and operational risks. 

 

Example 3: Turnkey property management

One of the simplest contract options is for Dot Dot Dot to take on the full breadth of property management. We’ll develop a full management and occupation plan, allowing us to take care of all compliance, maintenance and management in line with the client’s needs.

Clients may choose to take an arm’s length approach and to rely on our reporting and reviews to keep in touch with their property. Others might remain closely involved in monitoring and decision-making. Armed with a detailed understanding of our client’s needs and of the property, Dot Dot Dot can often help clients to navigate uncertain development or sales timelines by assisting with medium-term asset management decisions or projects such as minor works.

This is a good option for clients with multiple competing priorities. It allows owners and asset managers to put assets ‘on hold’, while being reassured properties are secure, managed and maintained until needed.

 

Picking the right approach

Owners and asset managers with experience of guardianship may have a clear view of the service they require, but they do not need to decide in advance which approach will best support them. 

By sharing their priorities and needs, clients enable Dot Dot Dot to identify the right structure. Although guardianship is always at the heart of our service, we recognise that a “one size fits all” approach will limit the value we can offer. Instead, we believe in matching our service to the circumstances and needs of each client.

 

Next in ‘On the ground’ – How we mobilise in large and complex properties.

How volunteering helps everyone – not just the beneficiaries

October 29, 2020

From our founder, Katharine Hibbert

Supporting volunteering has always been central to Dot Dot Dot’s work – and our focus on it is something we are never asked to justify.   No one needs an academic paper to tell them that it’s worthwhile to support people who’d like to do good for others. And it’s easy to see that volunteers keep a huge range of worthwhile organisations going, from household names like the Samaritans and the St John’s Ambulance through to small local food banks and sports clubs.

But the indirect benefits to society as a whole of volunteering, neighbourliness and civic engagement go way beyond the benefits to individuals in need who receive help from volunteers, or to the volunteers themselves who get satisfaction from doing it.  People living in societies with more volunteering, more social connections and higher trust tend to be happier and wealthier, so participation deserves to be measured, celebrated and promoted for these reasons too.

Most current discussion of the benefit of living in a community where people are engaged – either by volunteering formally, getting involved in neighbourhood groups or helping others informally – traces back to Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone, published in 2000.  In it, he argued that social capital is essential to a well-functioning democracy, and defined it as “connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them”. 

He also drew a clear link between the frequency with which people get involved in third-sector activities and organisations, and higher levels of trust and social capital.  As he put it, ‘‘civic engagement and trust are mutually reinforcing’’ and ‘‘the causal arrows among civic involvement…and social trust are as tangled as well-tossed spaghetti’’. 

While it usually takes a certain amount of trust and positivity to start volunteering or to get involved with a club or society in the first place, Putnam’s point is that doing so creates a virtuous spiral – the more you participate, the more positive you feel about others because you have more good experiences and you benefit from more reciprocity.  And this in turn makes you more likely to believe that most people are basically trustworthy, which encourages you to participate more.

This is good for individuals. Sociological research repeatedly shows that higher social trust is correlated with higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction and subjective wellbeing, and we frequently hear from our guardians that their volunteering is positive for them as well as helpful to the causes they give their time to.  

But it’s also good for society as a whole.  Work by Marta Portela and others in the journal, Social Indicators Research, shows that the higher the level of social capital a country has on average, the more likely individuals in that country are to be happy and satisfied with their lives.  And these benefits occur even for those who don’t participate regularly – if you live around others who get involved and have a good opinion of their fellow citizens, your life is probably better too. 

It also makes us all richer.  A country’s average levels of social trust predicts its economic growth more accurately than its average skill levels, according to Dr David Halpern, the Chief Executive of the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team.  As he puts it, “Low trust implies a society where you have to keep an eye over your shoulder; where deals need lawyers instead of hand-shakes; where you don’t see the point of paying your tax or recycling your rubbish (since you doubt your neighbour will do so); and where you employ your cousin or your brother-in-law to work for you rather than a stranger who would probably be much better at the job.”  All of that makes life less enjoyable – but it also makes it more expensive and holds back innovation and entrepreneurship, making countries who lack social trust poorer too.

So even though most people who get involved in formal or informal volunteering do it because they want to help a specific cause and because they enjoy it, by doing so they are also making everyone a bit more likely to be happy and wealthy.  We support volunteering because of its positive impacts on good causes and on the volunteers themselves, but by doing so we hope we are also making a small contribution to building a more positive, happier and richer society as a whole.

You can find out more about our commitment to supporting the volunteering efforts of our guardians here, and read more of our guardian stories here.

The people behind the regeneration process

October 15, 2020

From our Chief Executive, Peter Brown

Many of our clients are working hard at estate regeneration and development programmes. Typically, this involves replacing estates built in the 1960s and 1970s. Although the end goal is worth the endeavour – warmer homes, neighbourhoods that are designed to work and always a net increase in homes – these schemes are complex and require long-term endurance and a patient outlook.

The existing residents who call these estates home need supporting through that process of change, as well as clarity about the forthcoming changes. Even if residents are won over on the case for change (and not all will be in favour), they still have to face the upheaval of the regeneration itself. That can mean extended periods of demolition, building sites close by and the stress of rehousing programmes. It’s a lot to ask, and likely to be disruptive even if managed with all care and compassion.

This is why we view regeneration as a process, and keep the challenges our clients will face and the people they house at the forefront of our minds.

Supporting estate regeneration has always been an area that Dot Dot Dot has specialised in. Our earliest projects were in estate regeneration and were successful because we brought engaged, caring, individual guardians who slotted into the empty homes as they arose, and who could be cheerful, supportive neighbours to the council and housing association residents awaiting rehousing. This was how our “property guardianship with purpose” began and, to this day, our clients choose us because we bring property guardians who, by virtue of their volunteering, make great temporary occupants.

The make up of the communities housed in these regeneration contexts is undergoing change too. Once an estate is earmarked for regeneration (or “decant”, an industry phrase that makes residents sound more like pieces of a jigsaw and less like humans with needs and hopes) then it will often also be used for “temporary accommodation”. This is another piece of industry jargon which describes housing people that are owed a statutory duty by local authorities under homelessness legislation. So once an estate has regeneration status, voids get used to accommodate a household which needs housing while awaiting settled rehousing elsewhere.

Those responsible for the regeneration programme will want to balance two things above all. First, the meanwhile phase i.e. making sure that life on the estate remains positive and safe ahead of the changes, that anti-social behaviour is minimised and an emptying estate doesn’t attract criminality. Secondly, the end phase – achieving vacant possession to schedule and handing over the site to the contractor.

Our expert advice is to consider using guardians as part of this meanwhile strategy because mixing the nature of temporary residents on an estate has benefits in terms of creating diverse and supportive communities. Having property guardians coexisting alongside tenants, leaseholders and temporary accommodation households is positive for several reasons:

  • Property guardians need flats that are safe and which meet minimum standards but they can be in any decorative condition. So flats that would be too expensive to refurbish to a temporary accommodation standard can be used for property guardianship. We can provide water heaters and temporary kitchens if those parts of the asset have deteriorated or are absent.
  • A property can be readied for property guardians within days, meaning that someone good and reliable managed by Dot Dot Dot can be quickly be living on the estate. This brings footfall, care and attention and is much better than mothballing a property.
  • Property guardians are a flexible service in terms of timing and minimum periods. When a property is available but the timeframe might not suit a temporary accommodation agreement, property guardians can move in and add value for the months that the property remains available. Equally, once in place property guardians can stay until the whole development phase is ready for handover, at which point we can serve notice on our guardians and achieve reliable vacant possession.
  • Property guardians cover the costs council tax and avoid the need for expensive void property security such as steel screens and alarms.
  • Dot Dot Dot property guardians are specifically chosen for their neighbourliness and friendliness and an interest in community through their volunteering. They will be a positive addition to their neighbours’ lives rather than be a source of stress or concern.
  • Dot Dot Dot property guardians are a diverse group of people, but what unites them is their willingness to live in these sort of temporary situations and make the most of those opportunities. They understand that when it’s time to leave, it’s time to move on and find their next property guardian home.
To talk to us about how Dot Dot Dot’s brilliant property guardians could be part of your regeneration strategies, please do get in touch at partnerships@dotdotdotproperty.com.
You can also find out more about our commitment to providing great housing to property guardians and raising standards in our industry here.

How Dot Dot Dot can bring value to your area: working with Soha in Henley-on-Thames

September 8, 2020

Mount View Court is an over-55s sheltered housing estate in Henley-on-Thames, made up of 50 flats in total. It is owned by Soha, a housing association working in South Oxfordshire.

Since October 2019, Dot Dot Dot has worked with Soha whilst the estate goes through a period of regeneration, to sensitively and effectively house guardians into empty properties. 

Social impact is at the core of what we do at Dot Dot Dot. We have extensive experience of working with housing associations to secure properties in complex sheltered housing environments, and we only house the most reliable guardians to ensure the transition is as mindful and secure as possible.

 

1. Staggered setup process

During this time of transition, we have worked closely with Soha to develop a management plan that not only provides security for their empty assets, but is also sensitive to the needs of all stakeholders. As a housing association, Soha’s first duty of care is to their residents, so it was important to minimise risk and take the needs of those who still reside in the estate into account. 

We identified three flats which would allow us to house guardians quickly and safely, for an initial three month pilot. The pilot has been a success, and we have an agreement in place with Soha to introduce more guardians in the coming weeks and months.

Using a staggered approach allowed us to secure the properties in a timely way, whilst also ensuring a smooth transition for the estate’s current residents.

 

2. Careful selection and introduction of guardians

When putting together a management plan for Mount View Court, it was important to Soha that the transition to housing property guardians caused as little disruption as possible. We take great pride in going above and beyond in the way we collaborate with our clients. As a result, we are responsive to their needs and the needs of the communities in which they work.

We worked with Soha to come up with a plan to introduce guardians in a sensitive and appropriate way – carefully selecting and inducting three guardians who understood the context of their new community. They embraced the need to be good neighbours and were willing to form relationships with existing residents. We tailored our vetting process to ensure that prospective guardians were interested in helping with activities like shopping, gardening and befriending older residents as part of their 16 hours of volunteering per month. The need for good neighbours became even more important in March when Covid-19 required that everyone stay at home. With isolation becoming a daily reality for many, the need for connection amongst neighbours and the power of volunteering has become more apparent than ever. 

 

3. Supporting relationships with neighbours

Developing strong relationships is vital in any regeneration project where there are existing residents. We have open channels of communication with Soha and their residents to understand their needs and provide information about Dot Dot Dot and our guardians. 

We helped Soha to educate and inform their residents about Dot Dot Dot and our approach, and to assuage any concerns they may have. Before Covid-19, we had planned some meet ups to introduce guardians to the residents and allow a space for the guardians to meet their new community. Covid interrupted these plans, so we had to innovate in a way that would still foster a sense of community, despite the need for social distancing. We shared case studies of each guardian with information about their interests and volunteering, and included contact details should the residents need to contact our guardians. This meant the residents had a listening ear to call on or could ask for help with shopping.

 

4. Making a difference in the local area

Since January 2020, our Henley-on-Thames guardians have contributed a total of nearly 300 hours of volunteering, and have continued to do so during Covid-19. Without them, local charity shops would not have had extra staff, and local music events wouldn’t have been organised. Through encouraging volunteering in the Henley local area, we see the mutual benefits of community to both the guardians and the residents. Samuel, a Dot Dot Dot guardian living in Mount View Court, says: ‘It’s an incredible community to live in and I’m fortunate enough to be a part of it’. 

 

Dot Dot Dot: property guardianship with purpose

The 16 hours of volunteering contributed by Dot Dot Dot guardians is central to our mission, but this is not the only additional value Dot Dot Dot can bring to an area. Careful management allows us to adjust to the needs of individual clients, projects and unique circumstances. Our agile and flexible approach has allowed us to collaborate with stakeholders despite the challenging circumstances presented by Covid-19. By building purpose into everything we do, we are unique in achieving additional value in the communities where we work. If you would like to get in touch with us about securing your empty asset, you can request a callback here.

This week’s top five volunteering opportunities

March 10, 2016

1.Open the GateOpen the gate

Where: Across London
When: Various
Commitment Level: Various

Want to get involved in a fast growing cultural organisation? Open the Gate is looking for volunteers to help with organisation, promotion and event hosting. If this is something that interests you, please email show@openthegate.org.uk

2.Beanstalk

beanstalkWhere: Various Locations  
When: Various  
Commitment Level: Medium – Regular Commitment

Volunteer with a young person as a reading helper! In the reading sessions you will spend one-to-one time with children, chat with them, read and play educational games on a regular basis. For more information, see here.

3.Day Old

Where: Across London
When: VariousDay old eats
Commitment Level: Various

DayOld is a food surplus social enterprise, tackling food waste and food poverty. They sell surplus baked goods through treat boxes, office pop-ups and event catering. Their baked goods are collected from artisan bakeries the previous day, preventing them from going to waste. They are looking for volunteers to help them with this process. For more information and to register your interest, click here.

4.Cleaner, Greener Volunteers

cleaner greener volunteersWhere: Bow Churchyard
When: 16th April  10.30am
Commitment Level: One-off

As spring is almost here, Big Dig day is a national scheme to get people helping out at gardens. On the 16th April, a group will be heading to Bow Churchyard to take the first steps in revamping and restoring the site. If you want more information, please contact Chris on black.bird@virgin.net – or just turn up on the day!

5.Kitchen Volunteers

ashford houseWhere: Ashford Place,  NW2 6TU
When: Saturday March 19th from 11am to 2pm
Commitment Level: One-off

Ashford Place is a community resource centre in North West London. They provide advice and practical support to the whole community. Ashford Place is looking for volunteers to support their Saturday project – a mental health and support group. They want help preparing and serving lunch. For more information and to register your interest, click here.

Guardian Spotlight: Renee and youth charity Envision

February 27, 2015

envision2 (1)This Month, Dot Dot Dot Guardian Renee shares her experience volunteering with Envision, a national charity working with over 1600 young people every year…

speech-marks-copyEnvision is an amazing charity that engages young people in social action. I love the organisation so much that this my third time volunteering with them!

As a team mentor, I meet sixth formers on a weekly basis at a school in Stratford. Throughout the school year we explore what issues the young people feel strongly about and look at what they can do to influence change. It’s great for them to experience from a young age what it’s like to have an impact.

For me it has been a wonderful opportunity to practice my facilitation skills, enabling others to reach their full potential. Over the last three years, every project has been completely different with teams running campaigns, volunteering and fundraising.

envision (1)

Last year the team I supported developed a weekly youth club called ‘Movie Munchies’ to engage young people in Camden. Movie Munchies was a welcoming space for young people to watch films, unwind and even take part in cookery lessons for a lucky few.

This year, my current team’s project is examining the influence of the media on young people.

Envision

It is always lovely to see students grow in confidence  in things like public speaking. They also get to showcase their projects in front of over 300 students at their annual celebration event.  It was an honour to see my team win an award last year, and also be awarded for best team mentor!

Envision is a fab organisation to volunteer for as you get to attend great events, and access really useful training on working with students.

speech-marks-copy2
More importantly, it helps students realise their creativity and talent, and allows them to use a wider set of skills than they usually do in the classroom which give them fantastic practical experience for adult life and work.

Get involved

30 January 2015 – This week’s top 5 volunteer opportunities

January 30, 2015

Top 5 London (2)

1. Volunteer receptionists urgently needed, and other roles at Positive East
When: At least one (five- hour) session a week.
Where: Stepney Green

Positive East is the leading HIV charity in East London, providing a range of services for individuals and communities affected by HIV.

Positive East

Working as part of a volunteer team, you’ll be based at Positive East’s office in Stepney, and travel and lunch expenses will be covered.

You need to be able to commit a minimum of one 5-hour session per week for a 6 month period.  All reception volunteers receive additional ‘on the job’ training for this key role.

To find out more about this role and other roles at Positive East visit their website.

2. Join the Camden Green Gym
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays 10.45am – 2pm 
Where: Camden’s Local Nature Reserves, Parks and Green Spaces incl. Adelaide Road Local Nature Reserve, London, NW3 3QB

  • Get active in your local green space with the Green Gym inTCV Camden
  • Keep fit while working outdoors and giving back to your local community
  • Discover hidden gems of nature on your doorstep and help increase their use and biodiversity through a range of nature conservation tasks.

Events are run across nature reserves, parks, community gardens, and in partnership with local charities. Have a look at tcv.org.uk for more information.

3. Community Clean With Providence Row
When: Mondays Between 11 and 1. 
Where: The Dellow Centre, 82 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7SAprow

Homeless charity Providence Row helps around 1,200 people a year with advice and support for housing and benefits, and helping vulnerable people with mental health and substance misuse issues.

Unfortunately the alleyway next to their building is in need of some TLC and they are looking for some volunteers to offer two hours 11am and 1pm on Mondays. Find out more about providence row’s volunteering opportunities at providencerow.org.uk

4. Home Library Service Volunteers needed
When: Flexible
Where: Royal Voluntary Service, Maidstone Road, Sidcup, DA14 5HS. Then around Bexley and Thamesmead for visits. make-difference-to-the-lives-of-older-people

RVS needs Volunteers to help the Home Library Service deliver and collect books, DVDs or CDs to older people who may be housebound or have mobility issues. The service provides regular, friendly and social contact for older people. It’s a great opportunity to:

  • make new friends
  • be part of a great team
  • develop skills and experience
  • contribute to the work of the charity by enriching the lives of older people.

Find out more about this opportunity on the RVS website.

5. Sound Advice UK needs a Community Music Event Volunteer sound
When: Sundays
Where: St Peters Crypt, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA.

Sound Advice UK is a community based music and media project created by local media and creative professionals, who organise ‘Acoustic Sundays’ – an exclusive monthly event, run by a team of dedicated volunteers.

This is an ideal opportunity for volunteers with an interest in music and performing arts. Apply on the Team London website.

 

Mural painting at Positive East

July 23, 2014

Our brilliant guardian Becky has recently been busy designing and painting a mural for the gym at Positive East. She wanted to create something that was a collaborative process with the actual people who will be using the gym to allow them to have an input on their space. As part of this she held workshops where people could give their ideas, and as a group they came up with a design that included all the different aspects of what motivated people when going to the gym. A key feature of this is the fact it is set in a rural landscape – the idea of running in the countryside is obviously universally appealing!

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