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Helping the homeless in Cumbria build a better future

Recently, Securitas’ charity single ‘Ascending’ raised over £15,000 to help the hungry and homeless in Birmingham. Feeling impelled to do more, 2022 will see us working closely with Calderwood House. This homeless hostel in Cumbria gives its residents a safe place to live and a 12-week recovery programme to help them build a new future.

24 January 2022 09:49

Why Calderwood House? 

We were inspired by Calderwood House’s mission to help the homeless get back on their feet and by the priority they give to helping ex-service men and women. With several ex-military in our own company, we have some insight into the physical, mental, and financial impact of leaving the forces, and we also know how much these individuals have to offer. The aims of Calderwood House also echo two important Securitas values—integrity and helpfulness. 


Another connection is that Shaun Kennedy, our Country President, grew up in Cumbria and knows it well. “Visitors to the region see the idyllic countryside and may think it creates an idyllic life,” he says, “but many Cumbrian communities have serious socio-economic problems. We can’t solve the big issues, but by supporting Calderwood House we can help make life better for some.” 


Lending support 

Our first gesture of support was a £5,000 donation to update furniture and computer equipment within the ‘Hub’, a communal room within Calderwood House. Then, discovering that lack of transport is a big problem, we offered to lend the hostel a minibus for a year. “This means we can take residents – and also some ex-residents – on day trips and outward-bound activities in the Lake District” says Rachel Holliday, Founder of Time to Change (West Cumbria) Project, the not-for profit Community Interest organisation that set up and runs Calderwood House. Having the minibus will also help the residents carry out the ‘Give back to the community’ element of their 12-week recovery programme, which gets them participating in outdoor activities such as gardening and litter-picking. “It’s worthwhile work, but I know how cold it can get in Cumbria, so we’ve also purchased a stock of warm hats, gloves, jackets, and some high-vis outer layers for them to wear when out and about,” adds Kennedy. 


Preparing for the future 

Securitas delivers a wide range of learning and development training in-house and over the coming months we will be offering Calderwood House residents access to a variety of courses, including Fire Marshall, First Aid and Mental Health First Aid. We will also be helping them develop their CV writing and interview skills. “The 12-week recovery programme is a lifeline for the residents”, Kennedy comments, “and a key part of it is the opportunity it gives them to explore and start to realise their potential through training and education, so we’re really pleased to be able to offer them concrete ways to build their confidence and skills.”  


“To be able to support people who have been in crisis back into the classroom is really invaluable,” agrees Holliday, adding, “It’s clear that Shaun still feels a real connection to the people in this region and it’s really touching that, with his encouragement, such a large company has been able and willing to help us so significantly. I really hope other organisations will follow his lead.” 


Securitas are calling on local communities and businesses in Cumbria, and across the UK,  to listen to Ascending, Securitas’ charity single  and make a donation  to support the fantastic work of the team at Calderwood House.  

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"Ascending – Song for the Homeless" - charity song by Securitas UK employees

We put both the ‘fun’ and the ‘sing’ into fundraising with a unique charity single to raise money to feed the homeless in Birmingham.

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