When it comes to community volunteering, many of our people go above and beyond just Community Day. Here are some of their stories:
Boys’ Town, SingaporeFor the past five years, Lendlease employees in Singapore have been working with Boys’ Town – a not-for-profit charity providing residential care, street outreach, fostering, and community and school-based programs for families, children, and youth-in-need. One project our employees have been taking part in is a monthly futsal match.
Geoff Quong, Lendlease Project Manager, and team lead for the Boys’ Town project, said the monthly games make it much easier to connect with the boys.
“The monthly futsal games are a fun and interactive activity with the boys. We hope that we can become positive role models for them through our collaboration with Boys’ Town.”
In addition to the futsal games, the Lendlease team has helped spruce up the school and drop-in centre through various renovation projects including creating study and dance rooms, landscaping, new signage and patching and painting walls. Taking the mentoring a step further, the boys joined our Lendlease team to give back to the community through a Lendlease Foundation Community Day project focusing on helping the elderly.
Rebuilding Minami Sanriku, JapanThe Lendlease team in Japan has been actively contributing to the rebuilding of Minami Sanriku, one of the most devastated towns struck by the Great Eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
We were one of the first responders to the disaster site utilising our Sendai office as a base for the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian governments' emergency and consular aid program. Our team worked with the government officials to facilitate the rescue and evacuation of Australian, New Zealand and Canadian nationals from the disaster area.
Tomohiko Ando, Lendlease Project Director said, “Our Lendlease team was responsible for restoring the mobile phone network along the entire coast, a task it completed in six weeks together with the operator.”
“Our team continues to support the rebuilding of the region through regular volunteer trips to Minami Sanriku every two to three months.”
The team also participates in various volunteering programs, most recently the sustainable regeneration programs of local fishing and forestry industries – the town’s two major sources of income – that are currently suffering from a lack of manpower.
Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, LondonSam Orwin, Project Director, Lendlease Consulting, has been actively supporting Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) since 2014, when his daughter Milly was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition.
“I have plenty of motivation to fundraise for my charities with Milly due to undergo further complex spinal surgery later this year.”
Sam said his two week stay with Milly in the High Dependency Unity (HDU) was a humbling experience.
“The memories from the HDU remain fresh despite the passage of time. Most of the children there have significantly more complex underlying conditions than Milly’s and many of whom will never get to go home.
“The devotion, care and professionalism of the staff at GOSH, despite the often challenging and distressing circumstances, still inspires me."
Through a series of volunteer work, fundraising events and Lendlease Foundation community grants applications, Sam has raised nearly £28,000 ($47,000 AUD), as at June 2017.
His commitment, passion and relentless support for GOSH is truly remarkable.
‘It’s Your Local Market’, London
In 2015 Andrea Brown, Lendlease Information Manager based at the Elephant & Castle regeneration project, started developing ‘It’s Your Local Market’ – a not-for-profit social enterprise at Angell Town, a large municipally built housing complex in Brixton, London.
“Crime and spending cuts had deadened the community spirit and made this area too much about gangs and turf wars,” Andrea said.
“I believed by creating a community market for residents to get involved and sell locally sourced food and affordable clothing and crafts, we could bring back the positive community spirit I remembered when I lived in the area in my mid to late teens.”
Andrea worked on the market proposal for a year, contacting individuals, organisations, community projects and the council for support.
Two years on and she has achieved just that – as she continues with a local monthly market bringing communities, collaboration and diversity to the forefront.
“There is all this positive community energy that has had no outlet — but now we have been given a chance to shine,” Andrea said.
Kookaburra Kids, Australia
Lendlease Foundation’s annual Community Day introduced Sarah Deuchrass, Lendlease Digital Procurement Lead, to volunteering back in 2011.
“Through Lendlease’s encouragement to volunteer, I decided to make a further contribution and found an organisation I am passionate about – Kookaburra Kids,” Sarah said.
Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation (Kookaburra Kids) support kids living in families affected by mental illness. The not-for-profit organisation’s program is free for children to attend and includes weekend respite and educational camps, school holiday activity days and youth mentoring. At camp the children gain access to a range of confidence building activities, such as canoeing, abseiling and giant swings. Kids also attend a daily ‘chat group’ where they are given the opportunity to learn about mental illness and how it affects families, share their experiences and discover and improve their coping skills and resilience.
“These kids have so much going on in their home lives with many struggling to understand and cope with their parent’s illness. Often, they feel isolated from their peers and take on greater responsibility around the home, caring for their parents, looking after siblings and doing the household chores.
“Watching these kids grow over the weekend is so rewarding, and knowing they walk away more connected and informed is truly satisfying,” Sarah said.
Kookaburra Kids was a recent recipient of a Lendlease Foundation Community Grant.
St Vincent De Paul Night Truck Patrol, Sydney CBD
There are over 105,000 people experiencing homelessness every night in Australia, and many more living in insecure housing.
For Lendlease Site Engineer, Sharan Saini, the homeless community in Sydney became part of her daily commute when she started working in the CBD.
“I always wanted to help these more vulnerable people in our society, but I didn’t quite know how.
“I came across the St Vincent De Paul Night Truck Patrol who had an opportunity for me to form a volunteer group.”
Sharan rounded up fellow Lendlease employees to provide food and supplies to the homeless once a month with the night truck patrol visiting Martin Place, Surry Hills and Central Station.
“Whilst the food we provide is important, the rough sleepers tell us they actually value the relationships with the volunteers the most.
“Unsurprisingly, homelessness can be very isolating and people who have fallen into homelessness often have no social support network. The relationships with our volunteers are therefore very important to them.”
Lendlease is proud of our employees who make a difference in the communities where they live and work.