Safestore and Our Community

The nature of our business means that we do have an impact on those around us and, for this reason, we endeavour to be considerate and respectful of local residents, their homes and environments as well as local businesses and charities. 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 across the UK.

By taking this approach we can ensure that Safestore colleagues are able to participate with and influence how we develop our sustainability strategy for the future, whilst delivering maximum stakeholder value.
SAFESTORE-Basildon-Brand-Foodbank-Image-V2-1.jpgAs a Group, Safestore endeavours to work closely with charities within the local communities in which our stores operate. We do this through a range of collaborative partnerships with a variety of different charities.

Our partnerships with local and national charities mean we can support causes that are important to our colleagues, customers and communities.

This enables us to address issues such as rising homelessness, enhance social mobility and create opportunities for people living in the communities where we’re based.

Safestore is committed to being a responsible business in how we contribute to our local communities.

With 122 stores across the UK 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.
During the year, the space occupied by local charities in 184 units across 101 stores was 14,039 sq ft and worth £434,771 (FY2018: £312,275). Our aim is to have at least one charity room in every store.

We regularly monitor the free and discounted space occupied by charities ensuring that the partnerships are running smoothly. In addition, our colleagues maintain ongoing relationships with the charities and we continually review the scheme to ensure that it continues to be beneficial for all involved.

Hands On London

Safestore has been supporting Hands On London’s “Wrap Up London” campaign for the past seven years.

WUL-team-at-stockport-bryants.jpegThe 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 137,980 coats since it launched.

In November 2018, we provided storage space at four London stores to facilitate the sorting, storage and distribution of 27,627 coats to over 100 charities, homeless shelters, refugees, vulnerable women and children’s 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 third year and a second year in the cities of Birmingham and Glasgow.

Safestore’s involvement included:
  • providing storage space across four stores in London, six stores in Greater Manchester and one each in Birmingham and Glasgow;
  • provision of 3,936 sq ft of storage space enabling 1,299 “Wrap Up” campaign volunteers to spend over 4,375 hours sorting and packing up coats for distribution;
  • the stores acting 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 in with volunteers to help at London tube station collection points including Kings Cross, Waterloo and Liverpool Street; and
  • using our internal and external communications platforms to raise awareness of the “Wrap Up London” cause and inspiring our colleagues to get involved.

"2018 is the eighth year that Hands On London has joined in partnership with Safestore in support of the annual Wrap Up campaign which aims to deliver warm coats to those most in need across the country. This year, we collected nearly 36,000 across London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and with Safestore’s help we’ve been able to reach more vulnerable people than ever.

"The large provision of storage space across the UK has meant that our teams were able to store, sort and pack up the donations which can then be easily distributed to change the lives of thousands. It just goes to show that by working together we can achieve more and make a massive difference to others."
Jon Meech - CEO, Hands on London

Bloody Good Period

As part of our continued efforts to support charities with free and discounted storage space, Safestore is pleased to be able to assist Bloody Good Period, a UK charity that works to end a lack of access to menstrual supplies due to financial constraints by giving these products to those who can’t afford them, and providing long term education to those less likely to access it.

Bloody-Good-Period.jpgThe charity was the first project in the period poverty movement to focus on the needs of refugee and asylum seeking women, whilst also disrupting the industry and the way people talk about menstruation.

We have provided the organisation with free and discounted storage for nearly three years providing them with the space needed to help their team of steady volunteers sort and pack items ready for distribution.

We’ve seen them grow from strength to strength as contributions from the general public pour in regularly each week at the storage centre who accept donations on the charity’s behalf.

In addition, having flexible storage space enables the charity to expand easily as it grows removing the logistical pressures and allowing them to focus on what really matters.

"On behalf of Bloody Good Period, I’d like to thank Safestore for their provision of free and discounted storage space as it has been invaluable in helping us achieve our goal of ending period poverty. The staff at Alexandra Palace go out of their way to help us out and are always kind and friendly! As a charity, we have experienced massive growth, and the flexibility and ease of being able to increase our space over time has meant that we’re able to receive, sort and pack thousands of donations each week."
Gabby Edlin, CEO and Founder, Bloody Good Period

Local Charity Support

Making a difference to the communities in which we operate through partnerships with charities and not-for-profit organisations is an integral part of our sustainability strategy. We provide financial support to local and national charities and encourage our colleagues to get involved in fundraising and volunteering.

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

Property-ecology-centre.jpgOur property team joined UC Build (our construction management partner) to work with Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers and the biodiversity team on a project to improve disabled user access to the Sutton Ecology Centre. The team used their skills to make some improvements to the paths approaching the pond’s bridge as well as carrying out some habitat management tasks. Without their help, areas of the gardens would not have been accessible to all of the groups who would benefit from them.

As part of our continuing work in the Carshalton area, the construction management team held site visits and talks with the local building college. The students were shown around the site and given a talk on the brickwork by our contractor Titan Brickwork.

"We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the local community and support Sutton Ecology Centre and Carshalton College. We look forward to the opening of our new store in Carshalton early in 2020 and playing an active role in the local community for many years to come."
David Penniston, Property Director, Safestore

"With every new store development, we will continue to consider how best we can support local initiatives in the community."
Andy Robinson, Construction Manager, Safestore

We also support our colleagues who work as a team and with others to bring communities together, whilst supporting causes and charities local to them. We continue to support the raising of valuable funds for national charity initiatives such as Christmas Jumper Day, Red Nose Day and Macmillan Coffee Morning raising over £500.

In addition to our fundraising and voluntary activities, we continue to support individuals and local charities with free and discounted storage space through our “charity room in every store” scheme which also enables us to assist others in response to disasters. For example, we were able to offer one month of free storage to those affected by the Whaley Bridge dam collapse in Derbyshire so they could securely store their belongings during a difficult time.

Our policy of offering free and discounted storage space has enabled a diverse range of local charities to focus on their core activities without the added cost of storing donations and archives. One such example is the charity British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association (“Blesma” – The Limbless Veterans). They provide emotional, financial and practical support for serving and former military personnel who have lost their limbs or use of their limbs, eyes or eyesight – they aim to enable those they help to live fulfilling, independent and active lives.

gregg_stevenson_0006-(1).jpgWe are delighted to be able to help this worthy cause with discounted equipment storage for the charity’s specially adapted ski equipment and ski bikes when they are not in use for the winter sport season.

In addition, as part of its digital offering, Safestore donated £500 worth of online banner advertising enabling 192k impressions to potentially increase web traffic and ultimately donations to the charity.

"We’re very thankful to Safestore for their support with safe and secure storage space. As a charity, we try to save costs wherever we can to ensure the money we raise is used to directly help us serve ex-Service men and women who have lost limbs, or lost the use of limbs or eyes, to rebuild their lives. Safestore’s charity rate means we can now expand our resources and, in turn, help out more veterans for the duration of their lives."
Jess March, Activities Manager, Blesma
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