Safestore and Our Community

At Safestore, we strive to ensure that we develop and maintain partnerships with local charities as we seek to be an integral and trusted part of our communities nationwide.

By taking this approach we can ensure that Safestore employees are able to participate with and influence how we develop our CSR strategy for the future, whilst delivering maximum stakeholder value.

With 120 stores nationwide we continually:

— provide fundraising support to existing and new local charity partners;
— offer free or discounted storage space for charities within our local communities through our “charity room in every store” scheme;
— actively seek out practical and creative solutions by working with and supporting a number of charitable causes; and
— leverage social media and our blog platform to promote our charity partners and raise awareness of their cause.

Hands On London

WUL-image.jpgSafestore has been supporting Hands on London’s “Wrap Up London” campaign for the past six years.

The charity, which promotes community-based volunteering, organises the annual campaign encouraging Londoners to donate any unwanted coats ahead of the winter season. The “Wrap Up London” campaign has collected 103,000 coats since it launched in 2011.
In November 2017, we provided storage space at four London stores to facilitate the sorting, storage and distribution of 24,000 coats to over 100 charities, homeless shelters, vulnerable women and children centres.

The rapidly growing annual campaign also added additional collection locations as part of a plan to expand nationwide. “Wrap Up London” worked with Human Appeal to run the coat drive in Manchester for a second year and launched in the cities of Birmingham and Glasgow.

Safestore’s involvement included:

— providing storage space across four stores in London, five stores in Manchester and one each in Birmingham and Glasgow;

— a total of 4,375 sq ft of storage space was provided enabling 1,125 “Wrap Up” campaign volunteers to spend over 3,045 hours sorting and packing up coats for distribution;

— the stores continued to act as a drop-off point beyond the campaign week and received numerous donations from other businesses and the general public;

— several members of our Head Office and colleagues in store joined nearly 500 volunteers to help at London tube station collection points including Kings Cross and Liverpool Street; and

— using our internal and external communications platforms to raise awareness of “Wrap Up London’s” cause and inspiring our employees to get involved.

"Thank you very much for once again providing storage facilities for our annual Wrap Up campaign. We sincerely appreciate the allocation of space which enables our volunteer teams to easily sort through and package up the thousands of coats donated to us for those who are vulnerable and in need.

"The coat collection target surpassed last year’s numbers particularly as the campaign has now grown in other areas such as Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow in addition to London.

"We are also grateful for your Head Office and store team volunteers – we applaud their work ethic and positive attitude and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the years to come."
Jon Meech - CEO, Hands on London

Smart Works

As part of our continued efforts to support charities with free storage space, Safestore is pleased to be able to assist Smart Works, a UK charity that helps unemployed women to enter or return to work by providing them with the skills and clothing they need for interview success.

Set up in North London, the model for the charity was so successful that other branches have now opened nationwide.

To this end, we support Smart Works not only by promoting its aims to support vulnerable women into work but also by storing its extensive wardrobe collections and donations of clothing, free of charge at multiple Safestore stores across the UK including London, Edinburgh, Reading, Manchester and Birmingham.

"We are incredibly grateful to Safestore for the provision of free storage space in various locations across the UK enabling us to safely store the many donations of high quality clothing that we regularly receive.

"Storage is absolutely vital for us in making sure our wardrobes are beautifully organised so that we can help more women with the clothing they need to turn around their lives. Thank you Safestore for your ongoing support."
Amy Hughes-Hallett, Partnerships Manager, Smart Works

Local Charity Support

In addition to our fundraising and voluntary activities, we continue to support individual charities with free and discounted storage space through our “charity room in every store” scheme.

This space has enabled a diverse range of local charities to focus on their core activities without the added cost of storing donations and archives.

fedessa-award.jpgFurther to the provision of storage space, we actively encourage our colleagues in Head Office and in stores to make a positive difference to the local community by supporting charities through fundraising and volunteering.

Findings from our recent Investors in People survey showed that 68% of our staff were positive about our impact in the community.

In September 2018, Safestore was the winner of the FEDESSA European Awards Charity Initiative of the Year following our work for the Grenfell Tower relief project, an award we were honoured and humbled to accept.

During the year, our internal fundraising efforts included a big breakfast in Head Office in aid of Honeypot Children’s Charity, a fantastic charity which works with young carers to give them a break from their massive responsibilities. They organise weekends away and days out and provide emotional support for children caring for a relative.

In addition, a colleague from Safestore Glasgow North arranged a charity night in Anstruther where his band played and hosted a raffle raising over £1,500 for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity. Another colleague from Safestore Feltham regularly hosts fundraising events as chairman of the Ruislip Round Table, including quiz nights, equipment rental and Christmas sleigh collections.

We support our store staff to work together and with others to bring communities together and to support causes and charities local to them.

We believe it is important for our colleagues to recognise how our activities can have an impact on those around us and events like these can inspire and encourage our staff to get involved and provide some hands-on help where it matters.

Stakeholder Interest in Tax Issues

Tax policies and practices are important to stakeholders, and we support transparency and dialogue on this issue.

We see payment of taxes as a responsibility and one that brings positive socio-economic impacts through our presence and employment creation in the countries we operate. It is our policy to pay the right amount of tax wherever we do business, based on a fair and sound application of local tax laws to the economic substance of our business transactions. Safestore does not use artificial tax avoidance schemes or tax havens to reduce the Group’s tax liabilities.

Safestore complies with tax rules and payment obligations throughout its business operations. This is ensured through a robust governance system handling tax strategy and compliance which is carried out by Group finance. A Group tax policy has been in place since 2016, which is approved by the Board and reviewed annually by the Audit Committee. Local finance and human resources teams are responsible for tax compliance and are supported by trusted external tax advisers who have a deep understanding of our business as a result of long-term partnering with the Group.
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