RICS launches campaign to give young homeless Scots a home in winter

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has joined forces with property industry charity LandAid to launch a campaign to deliver more bed spaces for homeless people in Scotland during winter.

As part of RICS’s 150th anniversary in 2018, the campaign known as Pledge150 will see RICS - alongside those working in the region’s built environment - raise £2.25 million by December 2018 for LandAid. This money will be used to fund the creation of 150 bed spaces for young people at risk of homelessness.

This time last year, it is thought that as many as 9,187 people in Scotland spent the colder months homeless.

The Duke of Cambridge attended the launch of the campaign in November – along with senior figures from the UK’s leading property and construction firms – where he spoke about his concern for those with nowhere to call home, and how he would like to see all those working in the property industry joining with LandAid to end youth homelessness. His full speech can be read here.

Matthew Howell, RICS managing director, UK & Ireland, said: “The winter months are often the most difficult for young people who are homeless, and sadly as temperatures plummet, those who are forced to sleep rough are at an even greater risk of harm, and even death.

“We were delighted that the Duke of Cambridge could attend our kick-start fundraiser for more warm, secure homes for young vulnerable people. We raised £127,000 towards the £2.25m target on the day, through a number of activities including a charity cook-off, auction and ‘Pledge a Bed’ initiative. This is a great start towards making a real positive change to young vulnerable people’s lives.”

Paul Morrish CEO LandAid said: “There are thousands of young people living in overcrowded accommodation or sofa surfing, but no one counts them, or keeps records of how many people are suffering in such situations. Homelessness is a much bigger issue than rough sleeping – especially for young people. We aim to get as many young people without a safe place to call home, in to secure, affordable accommodation. So, we are delighted to be teaming up with RICS in what is our biggest ever fundraising campaign to end youth homelessness.”

RICS plans to raise further funds for the Pledge150 campaign at a variety of corporate events and challenges in Scotland, and through staff and partner university initiatives in the region. Those working in Scotland’s property and construction sectors are also being encouraged to join in and think big, in terms of their fundraising activities and in helping to publicise the campaign.

Matthew Howell of RICS added: “Individuals as well as companies can get involved with fundraising, or even make Pledge150 their ‘giving something back’ initiative. As part of this campaign, property professionals are also being encouraged to consider providing pro bono property advice to help local charities supporting disadvantaged people, including those experiencing homelessness.”

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