6th July 2021
Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall, said the charity is ‘delighted to be recognised’ with nominations for Charity of the Year and Property Innovation Award at the 2021 Charity Times Awards after a year which saw the Trust welcome over two million people to its sites for the very first time.
The Trust is nominated in the category for charities with an income of £1million – £10 million and will face competition from the following organisations:
• Career Ready
• Glass Door Homeless Charity
• Hospitality Action
• National Youth Agency
• The Bread and Butter Thing
• The ClementJames Centre
Like many other businesses and organisations across the country, the Land Trust faced a number of unique challenges throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the Trust’s charitable delivery was affected due to restrictions imposed to tackle the pandemic the charity was still able to deliver a great deal during this time, with a focus on their five key charitable objectives of:
• Health and wellbeing
• Environment and biodiversity
• Community and social cohesion
• Economic vitality
• Education and training
While the number of people visiting the Trust’s sites was excellent for the mental health and physical wellbeing of local communities the increased visitor numbers presented a number of challenges, particularly to the wildlife and biodiversity that calls the sites home.
The Trust’s goal is to ensure people and wildlife can thrive side by side and one of the key areas of growth for the Trust over the last 12 months has been the management of SANGs. A SANG is a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace and is a recreational space designed to attract residents of new developments away from designated sites that are protected for their valuable ecology and are sensitive to recreational activities such as dog walking.
Natural England has approved the Land Trust as an ‘appropriate body’ to acquire and manage SANG in perpetuity. The Land Trust now manages two of the largest SANGs in the country at Wellesley Woodlands and Prince Philip Park and has just taken on a number of smaller sites. The work done on these spaces is absolutely crucial to protecting vital wildlife and biodiversity for years to come.
Many of the Land Trust’s education and training activities had to be postponed and this was particularly true in the case of Green Angels, the Land Trust’s flagship environmental training programme. However the Trust recognised that many of its trainees would greatly miss spending time working outdoors so moved many activities online, providing weekly email newsletters packed full of activities and ideas for trainees to do in the comfort of their homes or gardens or during their daily exercise.
Engaging with the Trust’s service charge customers was also a key priority, with its management of these green spaces playing a key part in bringing the communities on these new developments together. Due to Covid-19 the Trust was unable to run its usual activities, however still found ways to engage with its communities.
The Trust worked with local contractors to ensure the green spaces were well managed so that they could still be enjoyed and used by the residents and the local community. Extensive cleaning regimes on play equipment were introduced to ensure they could be used as safely as possible. A number of online meetings were held with customers to answer any questions or concerns that they may have had and were able to put in place flexible payment options for any residents who were suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic. This work over the last 12 months has been recognised with a nomination for the Property Innovation Award, with the Trust up against Royal British Legion, P3 Charity and Changing Lives.
The Trust’s work also continued to support local economies delivering significant economic and social value to communities despite the prolonged periods of Covid-19 restrictions.
Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall, said:
“We are delighted to be recognised with nominations for Charity of the Year and Property Innovation Award at the 2021 Charity Times Awards, alongside a fantastic list of charities who are delivering brilliant outcomes.
“Over the last 12 months we have worked incredibly hard to keep our parks and green spaces open and well maintained for people to use. We know that people have found using our sites to have a very positive effect on their mental and physical wellbeing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would also like to thank our Managing Partners and passionate volunteer workforce for their hard work and for delivering a huge amount of charitable activity on our spaces in the most challenging of circumstances. Without them so much of our excellent work would not be possible.
“These nominations are reward for the hard work, commitment and dedication of so many people and I hope they are as proud of this recognition as I am.”
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