In December 2013 the new strategic charitable partnership with Habitat for Humanity was launched over minced pies and mulled wine.
Arup staff gained an insight into the different modalities of Arup engagement with Habitat for Humanity including through the International Development group as well as staff volunteering. The discussions emphasised the shared values and aspirations. Arup’s vision to ‘shape a better world’ and expertise in this area creates a direct beneficial alignment with the mission of HFH to alleviate poverty housing. By combining our various modalities of support, through this new strategic partnership we hope to create a new, innovative, and more effective way of collaborating together.
It has been a successful first year which has included staff participation through a team build day in London, a community flood adaptation team challenge and outstanding fundraising efforts. We are achieving our aims to engage UKMEA staff, build capacity and learn together.
The Empty Homes Agency estimates that there are over 75,000 empty homes in London alone. In a time of acute housing need, empty property is a waste and can be detrimental to the local community, particularly if they are in a bad state of repair.
In response to this problem, Habitat for Humanity has developed a lease and repair scheme, designed to bring empty property that has been allowed to decay back into use and provide decent homes for people in need.
Through the Arup partnership with Habitat for Humanity, staff are supporting this initiative by giving up their own time to renovate and refurbish homes. As well as being a huge help to Habitat for Humanity- these days are thoroughly enjoyed by all who participate and staff are pleased to offer their skills and helping hands to serve the community.
Typhoon Haiyan Appeal
Arup Community Engagement team coordinated a global response to the Typhoon Haiyan disaster, through both fundraising and deployment of staff in disaster relief efforts.
In the UK staff gave £4,169 to Habitat for Humanity response, an extra £951 was gained from gift aid and the Arup trust added an extra £625 in matched funding. This has enabled the funding of either 24 shelter repair kits (£235 ea) or almost two whole steel-framed, typhoon resistant homes (£3,050 ea).
Ian Rogers 354 mile fundraising cycle
Ian raised a fantastic £2316.24 for HFH during his cycling triple whammy which included an ascent of Mont Ventoux. This involved climbing from Bedoin at 300m to the summit at 1912m in a single 20km haul. It was a challenge with temperatures reaching 32C (a bit warm for cycling!) but Ian says the descent was pretty exciting (top speed 75 kmh…). The total tally for the three limbs of the trip was 354 miles and 8236m. This is a valiant effort and sets a high precedent for more fundraising events to follow in the years ahead.
Increasing staff participation
Empty Houses to Homes Arup Team Volunteer Day: Kings Grove, Peckham
"Whether it was painting, deck laying or moving rubble, everyone seemed
to have a smile on their face. This vibrant and energized atmosphere was
brought about by a handful of people who gave up a few hours on their
Saturday to help put a roof over other people’s heads. Inspired by a
good cause and people’s selflessness, I have a renewed faith in
Community Flood Adaptation Team Challenge
Learning from the successful implementation of the Vetiver Grass erosion control solution on Rayalanka Island in Andra Pradesh, India, David Burgess has set out the challenge for Arup teams to come up with further solutions to reduce vulnerability in the community and help them to prepare for future floods. The competition was popular and had 6 strong entries from across the UK. The results will contribute to the ongoing learning about community flood adaptation in this context. The innovative yet practicable solutions generated from the competition have a real potential to increase resilience for the people of Rayalanka Island and others in the region.