Five years of proving there’s a different way to secure empty buildings

July 7, 2016

The way we do property guardianship benefits everyone involved in the process.

We’ve already looked at how we have created positive social impact through the way we work. Today we’re setting out how our strong social mission underpins a rigorous process, which leads to a better service for everyone we work with: property owners, communities and property guardians. Having a social purpose doesn’t make us soft – it makes us stronger!

DDD Central motif

How it works

DDD Quote 2We attract good, reliable people

  • Our mission and values attracts people and organisations to us
  • Our specific stipulation that all our guardians volunteer for at least 16 hours per month is another filter

We are careful about who we accept

  • Our vetting procedure (including multiple forms, calls and checks) is much more stringent than our competitors, and this also helps us to ascertain people’s genuine interest in volunteering.

We then manage guardians closely and attentively

Our ratio of staff to guardians is the best in the industry. Each relationship manager looks after 80 guardians compared with 400 at our competitors.

We are structured like this so that each relationship manager can monitor and support guardians’ volunteering and build up good relationships with them.

The benefits we create

DDD Quote 6Property guardians get affordable housing, are supported to volunteer and they are always treated in a straightforward and reassuring way. 

Property owners save money and they know their buildings are secure because good, reliable people are looking after their buildings.

Communities gain considerate neighbours who are committed to the area and volunteer principally for local charities

Toynbee Hall case study

  • We successfully secured a large zone 1 estate, which included a mixture of residential flats, offices and shop fronts.
  • 64 people housed
  • 6,442 hours volunteered
  • 50+ reports of antisocial behaviour
  • 24 reports of maintenance issues


At Dot Dot Dot, we have always believed that having a social purpose “baked in” to our business approach was the right thing to do. Five years down the line, we are particularly heartened that the way we work leads to a better service across the board. People and organisations enjoy working with us because of the quality of what we do and this stems in large part from our social mission. Put simply, the secret is that Dot Dot Dot is a well-run social enterprise.

Spotlight on Zoe

May 11, 2016

Zoe has been a guardian with us since the beginning of 2016. She has always gone above and beyond with her volunteering – continually exceeding the 16 hours per month that we ask of our guardians. This is how she describes her experience with Dot Dot Dot so far: 

Doing social work to help and support the community where I live is something I have always found very positive and fulfilling, particularly in such a large and hectic city like London, where it can often be very hard to feel connected to those around us.

Becoming a guardian for Dot Dot Dot was a decision strongly influenced by my desire to make more time in my life to do volunteering work for the community. I felt very inclined to become part of an organisation that encourages volunteering and community work. Guardianship also seems to have become one of the only affordable housing options for people in low incomes or working in industries where competition is hard or pay is uncertain or simply not enough for London’s increasingly high prices.

Thanks to Dot Dot Dot I can afford to sustain my career as an illustrator and printmaker, and do volunteering work for very interesting associations within the creative industries. I have been volunteering for almost a year for the House of Illustration, a very young museum in the heart of London, dedicated to illustration. I volunteer in a range of different roles for the House of Illustration, from gallery invigilation to shop assistant. The one I found most fulfilling has been volunteering as an arts workshop assistant for children with cognitive impairment – deafness or autism. There are
not many arts institutions in London that offer  BSL (British Sign Language) translated art workshops or gallery tours for people, particularly children, and it is highly important that museums start to offer to young people with cognitive difficulties  the opportunity to enjoy art and develop their creativity as children in mainstream education. It has been a beautiful experience for me to be part of such an important initiative, and I strongly encourage anyone interested to get involved.

Get involved

  • If you’re interested in volunteering and becoming a guardian with Dot Dot Dot, apply here today
  • Keep up to date with our news and our guardians’ volunteering experiences on Facebook and Twitter

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