Overview

Helical takes a strong interest in charitable, community and social issues. As a Group, we recognise that the buildings we own and develop have an impact on the local environment and the communities that live and work there. We believe that engagement with those communities is an important part of our activities. Community engagement is an ongoing priority throughout the whole development process.

Please refer to our Sustainability Strategy “Built for the future” for further details on our commitments and associated targets in respect of “Our Communities”. 

Objectives

  • We will implement considerate construction practices on all developments and refurbishments, including consulting with local communities and stakeholders on large schemes as part of the planning stages and throughout the construction process.
  • We aim to take part in numerous community initiatives and fundraising events, both as a company and as individuals.
  • We believe in the importance of providing education and experience opportunities for young people and is something we aim to continue doing in the years to come. Where feasible, we work with our contractors to run apprenticeships schemes for young people to learn practical skills on our construction sites, providing valuable experience in preparation for their futures.

Helical Bursary

The Helical Bursary was established in 2017 to support Real Estate and Planning students studying at Henley Business School, University of Reading.

The first Helical Bursary was awarded to Aurora Bennet, an exceptional student, who would not otherwise have had sufficient financial resource to support her study.

“ I can say, without a doubt, that if it wasn’t for the support of this foundation, for the inspiring individuals and firms in this industry, I wouldn’t be as inspired to work as hard as I do and be as successful as I am.”   – Aurora Bennet

Following Aurora’s graduation Helical has gone on to provide another Bursary to an outstanding student who would not otherwise be able to fund their studies.

The Terra Carta

In January 2021 Helical plc signed up to HRH The Prince of Wales’ Terra Carta, which forms part of HRH’s Sustainable Markets Initiative and works to put nature, people and planet at the heart of global business.

Launched by HRH on 11 January 2021, the Terra Carta lists ten action articles for the decade and aims to provide an integrated roadmap towards an inspiring, inclusive, equitable, prosperous and sustainable future for the sake of present and future generations. It will harness the power of nature, combined with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector.

Helical plc has pledged to support the Terra Carta, its principles and action articles, as they complement and echo existing sustainability commitments and aspirations of the business. This includes transitioning to a net zero carbon business and will be supported by the release of “Designing for Net Zero” Helical’s step by step guide to designing low carbon and resilient buildings.

HRH The Prince of Wales, said: “The more companies that sign up to the Terra Carta, the greater its capability will be to drive the change we so desperately need. I can only encourage more people to join this urgent call to arms.”

Gerald Kaye, Chief Executive, said “HRH The Prince of Wales has been a long-time advocate for environmental protection and preservation and we are proud to support his latest initiatives and become a Terra Carta supporter. The Terra Carta reinforces Helical’s commitment to sustainability and aligns with our long term aspirations in creating a truly sustainable business.”

The Lord Mayor's Appeal

Helical is proud to be a long-standing corporate supporter of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and to be in our third year as a ‘Collaborator’ of the Appeal.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal aims to find solutions to the most pressing societal issues in London and beyond. Their strategy works on four key pillars to create a City that is Inclusive, Healthy, Skilled & Fair.

The Appeal partners with four organisations who are leading experts in addressing social issues to deliver ground-breaking programmes. These four Partners are:

Place2Be
Place2Be works to identify and support primary school children who are struggling with their mental health. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal has enabled Place2Be to train Mental Health Champions for over 180 schools in London and currently is funding Place2Think sessions giving staff a place to reflect with a Place2Be practitioner.

OnSide Youth Zones
OnSide Youth Zones is a growing national youth charity set up in 2008. It provides 50,000 young people aged 8–19 years old (25 for those with a disability) with inspiring places to go, with positive things to do, staffed by people to talk to who care.
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal has enabled them to open three new Youth Zones – Future in Barking & Dagenham, Unitas in Barnet and Legacy in Croydon.

Samaritans
The Samaritans provide a helpline for anyone in need of someone to talk to day and night, 365 days a year. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic Samaritans were able to keep their helpline open for anyone who needed them.
Through the Lord Mayor’s Appeal partnership, Samaritans have reached over 25,000 people with the Wellbeing in the Workplace tool, an online training in which businesses upskill their employees in having conversations about mental health.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides life-changing experiences for young people. Achieving a DofE Award can be a game-changer. The structured programmes of volunteering, physical and skills-based challenges inspire, guide and support young people to succeed.
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s support is enabling DofE to reach 10,000 more young people who are from disadvantaged backgrounds with recent funding supporting these young people with the participation fee.

St Bartholomew’s Gatehouse

The church of St Bartholomew the Great was built in 1123 and is one of the most important 12th century monuments in London. Its gatehouse is no less interesting than the church itself. The 13th century stone arch with its two-storey Tudor building above has one of the most eye-catching frontages in London, providing a tantalising glimpse from the street to the church beyond.

The iron gates of this famous gatehouse were replaced in 1932 and were in much need of restoration after nearly a hundred years of use. Helical was delighted to donate to the Heritage of London Trust – a charity which champions heritage across the city – so that they could repair the handsome metalwork so that the approach to St Bart’s would be transformed as the church nears its 900th birthday.

Conservation specialists from Arts Heritage removed corrosion and old paint, repainted the metalwork, and re-gilded the distinctive coats of arms. The beautiful lanterns above the gates were also repaired and now illuminate the Priory church in the distance.

Helical is so pleased to support the Heritage of London Trust’s work. As a business which started life in the early 20th century as a company making and selling reinforcing steel for the construction industry, we have much enjoyed watching the tender restoration of the historical gatehouse which sits amongst the sleek offices and flats around Bart’s Square. The gatehouse to London’s oldest parish church is an incredible reminder of a past city that can be otherwise hard to find, and the specialist conservation provided by the Heritage of London Trust will ensure this important landmark can be admired for many more centuries to come.

LandAid COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Helical has a very long standing relationship with LandAid and is proud to have been a Strategic Partner for many years. LandAid works to bring the property industry together to support charities delivering life-changing services for young people who are or have been homeless, or who are at risk of homelessness in the future.

In March 2020 LandAid set up their COVID-19 Emergency Fund in response to the severe hardship being created by the global pandemic. Their aim was to raise £1,000,000 to provide emergency assistance for vulnerable and homeless people across the UK. Helical was very pleased to support LandAid COVID-19 Fund by becoming a Founding Partner and helping to launch the appeal with a £20,000 donation.

Helical staff also supported the Fund by participating in remote fundraising events and by supporting #ContributeYourCommute.

Just one month after launching the appeal LandAid had raised over £500,000 which was immediately distributed to more than 60 charities providing emergency support to vulnerable and homeless people across the UK.

This is for LandAid

In July 2020 LandAid were unable to hold their annual 10k run fundraising event so instead opted to hold the LandAid QuaranTEN where participants could run or cycle 10 miles or 10 kilometres or walk 10,000 steps.

Thirteen members of the Helical team ‘stepped up’ and along with family members raised a fantastic £1,500 by running, walking and peddling their way around their local areas. In true British Summertime tradition conditioned varied from hot to windy to torrential rain but heroic performances prevailed throughout and generous sponsors supported everyone’s efforts. 

Altogether more than 760 individuals from within the property industry participated in the event and a grand total of over £120,000 was raised to support LandAid’s work to abolish youth homelessness.

The Atlas Ascent

On 27 September 2018 a 15 strong team of Helical employees embarked on a four day Charity Trek to the Atlas Mountains, reaching the top of northern Africa’s tallest peak – Jbel Toubkal at 4,167m. This incredibly rewarding challenge stretched the team both physically and mentally, raising over £140,000 for two notable charities, LandAid and The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, with 100% of funds raised split equally between the two charities.

LandAid is the property industry charity working to end youth homelessness in the UK. LandAid brings together businesses and individuals from across the industry to support charities delivering life changing projects for young people who are or have been homeless, or who are at risk of homelessness.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal partners with organisations who are leading experts in addressing social issues to deliver ground breaking programmes, which will not only change, but also save, people’s lives. This year’s appeal supports Place2Be, OnSide Youth Zones and Samaritans.

OTHER ACTIVITIES IN THE YEAR

As part of our commitment to the regions in which we operate, we regularly support community initiatives. Some examples from the year to 31 March 2020 include.

  • At The Bower, London EC1, we held a number of One Great Day events raising over £1,200 for the Great Ormond Street Charity. In addition to this we also donated £1,000 to St Monica’s School in Hackney and £750 to Spitalfields Crypt Trust. Throughout the year we held several tenant social events along with our annual table tennis competition for all occupiers. We also continue to support health and wellbeing by hosting a bicycle servicing event and inviting a health professional to hold a Nutrition & Lifestyle Medicine Clinic.
  • At The Loom, London E1, we continue to send a weekly newsletter to tenants detailing upcoming events and during the year the Macmillan Coffee Morning raised over £600, we also hosted a health “pop-up” which offered corporate rates on gym memberships and free advice on health and nutrition.
  • 35 Dale Street, Manchester hosted a Wellness Week in July to encourage exercise with discounts at local gyms, tenant yoga sessions and a table tennis tournament. We continued the health initiative in January by supporting Veganuary and by holding a vegan bake sale for charity along with many other Veganuary events. For The Samaritans ‘Brew Monday’ campaign, we offered free plant based hot drinks to our tenants. Both events served to encourage colleagues to connect and engage with one another.
  • At the Tootal Buildings, Manchester, we held a very successful Christmas event. Many tenants attended for mulled wine and mince pies and listened to a local choir. The event raised £90 for a local charity and over 100 toys were donated to The Mission Christmas charity.
  • At our Kaleidoscope, London EC1 site a cycle safety event was held for over 140 cyclists and school children, where people were given the opportunity to sit in the cab of a concrete lorry to see where the blind spots were and raise awareness to help general road safety around construction sites.