At Elkins, providing social value as part of our projects is at the heart of everything we do. We regularly partner with charities and organisations, volunteer our time, provide donations, and offer employment opportunities to local people. Here, we recap how we’ve been supporting the communities where we work over the last three months.
Over the last year, we’ve been supporting Dulwich Wood Primary School with various initiatives. The school is close to Kingswood Estate, where we’re currently carrying out a major refurbishment programme for Southwark Council. Back at the start of July, we donated some amazing prizes for its Summer Fair raffle, including a Nintendo Switch, hoverboard, Bluetooth speakers and a karaoke machine.
Kingswood Arts Centre is a fantastic new not-for-profit cultural hub for the local area, and we’ve been excited to get involved in its programme of projects and events. Following our donation to purchase palm trees for a new courtyard area earlier this year, we also donated £1,000 to provide food for the Family Fun Day event at the end of July.
As well as providing specific donations, we’re also looking at ways to make a lasting impact and deliver long-term improvements for the local community at Kingswood Estate. Our Social Value Manager, Ayesha, and Contracts Manager, Paul, have been meeting with Dulwich Wood Primary School to discuss building an outdoor science classroom, which will be used by the students for many years to come – stay tuned for updates!
It’s not just Kingswood we’ve been supporting; at the end of August, we provided £300 of Tesco vouchers to supply food and raffle prizes for CDS Co-Operatives’ summer event at Phoenix Place, where we are carrying out significant repair and maintenance work. Repairs and Maintenance Contracts Manager, Guy Ellis, and Voids and Repairs Coordinator, Lori Payne, got involved on the day and said: ‘It was great to see the residents at Phoenix Place coming together and enjoying the event.’
This year we’ve also continued to support our long-term charity partner, Link Age Southwark, which does fantastic work with over 700 older people in the borough who are feeling lonely or isolated. The charity is 30 years old in 2023 and has organised a programme of events to celebrate the occasion.
We were pleased to support several recent events, covering the cost of venue hire for the charity’s Sunset Soiree at Dulwich Picture Gallery in July and, more recently, providing water and flyers for its Strollathon event – an accessible, family-friendly, sponsored walk, with distances to suit different ages and abilities, in Dulwich Park.
We’re committed to minimising our environmental impact and are currently working towards reducing our carbon footprint with Positive Planet. We’re in the process of collecting data about our emissions, which will be analysed and used to create a carbon reduction plan that we’ll work towards over the next few years.
In the meantime, we continue to look for opportunities to recycle materials, particularly when it is for a good cause. In August, we donated our end-of-life electrical items, including smartphones and computer equipment, to Catbytes – a non-profit community interest company that teaches local people how to use technology and provides devices to help them develop their skills.
Employment and Training
It’s been quiet over the summer holidays, with education and training providers taking a well-deserved break, however we have some exciting opportunities coming up. We continue to work with Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB) and have committed to providing four work experience placements for their latest bootcamp. We are also working with Shooters Hill Sixth Form College to provide work experience opportunities for their newly-enrolled construction students – watch this space for updates!