Real estate investor and developer, Firethorn Trust, has revealed the level of community impact created as it reaches the first anniversary of its charity partnership with Groundwork UK.
As part of Firethorn’s commitment to ESG, a grant of more than £310,000 was issued to Groundwork in 2022, establishing a charitable programme of activity that focused on tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the local communities Firethorn builds within – from food security, to unemployment, education and access to green space.
In the first 12 months, the project has engaged with more than 500 school children and 450 families, provided 293 meals and recorded 168 volunteer hours across the country, as part of regionally-led initiatives in Leighton Buzzard, Peterborough, Ellesmere Port, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Barnsley, Northampton and London.
Each of the seven bespoke projects have been designed to address issues specifically within the area of development, ensuring Firethorn’s investment is making a real and long-lasting impact to communities and individuals across the UK.
The programme has so far achieved:
- One brand-new community food growing garden in Leighton Buzzard with 293 meals provided and 168 volunteer hours recorded
- 520 primary school pupils in Ellesmere Port have been supported with Forest School & Gardening Club activity
- 450 families have participated in a family ‘Wild Play’ programme in Peterborough
- The creation of abrand-new community hub garden in Delapré Abbey, Northampton with 39 weekly food sessions and 22 dedicated volunteers
- 295 people in Sherburn-in-Elmet and 214 people in Barnsley supported with environment, green skills, employment and school sessions
- One London ‘Green Team’ employment project began earlier this year, providing roles for those who struggle to find work, with two trainees recruited so far
Peter Mather, Partner at Firethorn Trust, said: “From supporting education projects to tackling the challenges of food poverty, we’re incredibly proud of the programme and what we’ve achieved so far. The partnership has allowed us to take a brand-new approach to delivering real, tangible ESG impact – working in close collaboration with community leaders to provide support where it’s needed most. Community benefit is placed at the heart of every Firethorn development and this important project is bringing that commitment to life.”
Groundwork is a federation of charities mobilising practical community action on poverty and environment across the UK.
Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive at Groundwork UK, said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with Firethorn, and it’s been fantastic to see our teams deliver such significant impact via the programme – from young people in urban areas being better connected with nature, volunteers improving outdoor spaces for food growing and young people and unemployed adults gaining experience and qualifications to bolster their future prospects.
“There’s more work to do and I’ve no doubt that our partnership will continue to deliver lasting change in communities across the country that are too often overlooked.”
Firethorn’s ESG strategy is informed and guided by two leading industry standards – the One Planet Living Framework and the values of the UK Green Building Council.
For more information, visit www.firethorntrust.com
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