Business Charity Awards: Community Impact – Saint-Gobain with Barnardo’s

For a business that has provided vital support to a charitable project in a specific locality

What is the background?

One in four young people leaving care in the UK is placed in accommodation that is deemed unsuitable, with one-third becoming homeless within two years. Barnardo’s Gap Homes project aims to address the shortage of suitable accommodation for young people leaving care, to transform their futures.

What is the project?

Gap Homes provide young people with a safe and comfortable space to find their feet and to learn essential living skills such as healthy eating, budgeting and managing finances. As lead partner, multinational corporation Saint-Gobain’s support has been fundamental in bringing Gap Homes to life.

Employees have raised £200,000 to build the homes, through activities and events including running the London Marathon and dragon boat racing.

Saint-Gobain donated significant pro bono support to secure planning permission, ensure adherence to building regulations and support with project management, and provided high-quality products at cost price, to ensure the best standard of living for young people.

The charity’s long-term strategic partner, IKEA, also provided £10,000-worth of products and design expertise to the project.

What has it achieved?

The first two transition homes have been built in Renfrewshire, and planning permission has been secured for the next 15 homes. Barnardo’s plans to build a further 50 Gap Homes across the UK over the next five years.

What did the judges say?

The judges praised the project’s innovative approach, combining the skills and objectives of both brands.

“This is a bold and ambitious project, creating genuine and sustainable opportunities for vulnerable young people to equip themselves with essential life skills,” said one.

Highly commended

Capital One UK with Age UK Notts

Finalists

Assura plc with Cheshire Community Foundation

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) with Berkshire Community Foundation

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