Safestore and Our Community

Target   Perfomance 2019/20
Provision of free/discounted space and additional support to high impact local community groups   15,239 sq ft provided worth £451,508

Safestore has an important role to play in the advancement of SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities). We are committed to being a responsible business in making a positive contribution to the communities we serve so that they are resilient, productive, and prosperous at a local level.

We do this by:
  • developing brownfield sites
  • actively engaging with local communities when we establish a new store
  • identifying and implementing greener approaches in the way we build and manage our stores
  • helping charities and communities to make better use of limited space
  • creating and sustaining local employment opportunities directly and indirectly through the many small and medium-sized enterprises which use our space
annual-report-charities-image-low-res-(1).jpg   Throughout our 22-year history, we have supported our local communities by partnering with many charities across the UK giving us the opportunity to have a positive impact.

We are committed to being a brand that our current and prospective colleagues are proud to work for as well as one that our customers can trust.

Therefore, our approach covers our whole value chain including our colleagues, customers, partners within our supply chain, and charity partners and local communities across the UK. More detail can be found in our ‘People Principles’ document.
 
Partnering with local and national charities means that we can support causes that are important to our colleagues, customers and communities. This enables us to address issues such as rising homelessness, enhancing social mobility and creating opportunities for people living in the communities where we are based.

With 125 stores across the UK we continue to:
  • 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
  • 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 206 units across 101 stores was 15,239 sq ft and worth £451,508 (FY2019: £434,771). 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 is beneficial for all involved.

Hands On London

Safestore has been supporting Hands On London’s “Wrap Up London” campaign for the past eight 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 158,640 coats since it launched.

hands-on-london-low-res.jpgIn November 2019, we provided storage space at several stores across the UK to facilitate the sorting, storage and distribution of 33,449 coats to over 100 charities and projects including homeless shelters, refugees, vulnerable women and children’s centres.

The rapidly growing annual campaign added further collection locations as part of a plan to expand nationwide.

Wrap Up London worked with Human Appeal and the Rotary Club to run the coat drive for a fourth year in Manchester, a third year in the cities of Birmingham and Glasgow, and a launch in Bath, Cardiff, Essex and Greater Lancashire.


Safestore’s involvement included:
  • providing storage space across five stores in London, four stores in Greater Manchester and one each in Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bath, Preston, Bolton, Burnley and Chelmsford
  • provision of 6,350 sq ft of storage space enabling 1,370 campaign volunteers to spend over 3,839 hours sorting and packing up coats for distribution
  • the stores acting as a drop-off point beyond the campaign week and receiving numerous donations from other businesses, community organisations and the general public
  • several members of our Head Office joining in with volunteers to help at London tube station collection points including King’s Cross, Liverpool Street and London Bridge
  • using our internal and external communications platforms to raise awareness of the Wrap Up London cause and inspiring our colleagues to get involved

"It’s incredible that we are in our eighth year of partnering with Safestore and we at Hands On London have seen the Wrap Up campaign grow from strength to strength over the years. We could not have done this without the support of Safestore and the provision of vital storage space enabling our many volunteers to sort and pack all the donated coats.

As we have expanded further across the UK, from London, to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and even further afield to Cardiff, Bath and Essex, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank Safestore for playing their part in helping us ensure these coats get to the most vulnerable people across the UK."
Jon Meech - CEO, Hands on London

Local Charity Support

Making a difference to the communities within 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. Volunteering and fundraising opportunities can inspire and encourage them to get involved and provide hands-on help where it matters.

adam-1-low-res.jpgAlongside donating storage space, Safestore colleagues often take part in a number of events each year in order to raise money for charitable causes.

One such example is Adam, Store Manager at Safestore Crayford, who took part in YMCA’s ‘The Big Sleepout’ which involved sleeping in a local park to raise money and awareness of homelessness – as well as raising over £300.

Safestore also donated cardboard boxes for participants to use as part of the campaign.






adam-2-low-res.jpg"Cardboard boxes represent sleeping rough in such an iconic way; the hope is that the donated boxes will go some way to helping ‘The Big Sleepout’ participants experience what sleeping rough is really like – if only for one night.

It’s important for us to recognise the importance of organisations like the YMCA who can inspire and encourage us to challenge our own perspectives on homelessness as well as help those who are living on the streets – after all, homelessness can happen to anyone."

 
Adam Wright, Store Manager, Safestore Crayford







Another community fundraising initiative took place during the construction of our new store in Sheffield whereby we teamed up with our construction management partners and sub-contractors to support a local charity, Framework Housing Association.

A van full of new sleeping bags was collected and handed over to the Association for distribution across a number of local charities including Ben’s Centre, which provides a place of sanctuary for vulnerable people in the local area.

"We are very happy to have been able to contribute to the local community in this way and support the brilliant work that the Association carry out helping vulnerable people in the local area."
 
Andy Robinson, Safestore Construction Manager

Safestore and our construction managers (UC Build) registered the new Sheffield site with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. The scheme is dedicated to improving the image of the construction industry and encourages developers to leave a positive legacy for the local community. The project was awarded ‘Performance Beyond Compliance’ at the monitor visits.

women-in-cons-low-res.jpgAs part of our continuing work in the Carshalton area where we opened a new store in February 2020, the construction management team held site visits and talks with the local building college.

In addition, UC Build’s Design and Compliance Manager, Bryony Levermore, attended the local Carshalton High School for Girls to give a presentation on ‘Women in Construction’ to sixth form students.

In December, our HR colleagues teamed up with UC Build, attending the local college at Carshalton to participate in a careers fair. This gave students the opportunity to gain career advice, specifically regarding the construction industry.

During 2020, Safestore donated £25,000 to Quartet Community Foundation which brings together people who want to help the local community with projects that make a real difference.

quartet-low-res.jpgQuartet manages and distributes charitable funds to meet local needs on behalf of individuals, companies, families and other organisations.

Between March and August 2020 Quartet awarded over £1 million in Covid-19 response grants to more than 200 charitable organisations across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire helping those most in need during the pandemic.

Each year Quartet awards around 1,000 grants, supporting hundreds of thousands of people through local frontline charities and voluntary groups.



In Spain, OhMyBox! has been supporting ‘Casal dels Infants’, a charitable organisation based in Barcelona committed to helping children, young people and families in vulnerable situations through educational intervention. Earlier in the year, as part of a fundraising dinner – ‘The Great Solidarity Night’ – OhMyBox! was one of more than 40 companies which together raised €67,000 for the charity.

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.

The provision of free or discounted storage space has helped our charity partners provide immediate support to people facing challenges in our local communities. These include charities supporting the homeless, families struggling with food poverty and vulnerable individuals in isolation as well as organisations producing and supplying personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and offering mental health services.

Our support will ensure our charity partners can continue to provide their services in the coming months particularly where they have seen demand significantly increase during the pandemic.

In addition, in response to the immediate needs of the charities we support, we provided them with financial relief including waiving storage rental fees and offering discounted or deferred payments enabling them to do their vital work supporting local communities through these unprecedented times.

We are continuing to work collaboratively with our teams and supply chain as we support our charity partners in helping the communities in the locations within which we operate.
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