On Tuesday 15th March the social enterprise Dot Dot Dot held a lunch in Loudwater aimed at creating new links between volunteers and charities in the local community. Dot Dot Dot are a property guardian company who house people in properties that would otherwise be empty - these people then do great volunteer work in their local community.
Property guardianship has recently gained more publicity through the Channel 4 sitcom Crashing and articles in the Daily Mail, BBC and Guardian. This has seen a surge of interest in the concept, which is generally viewed as an affordable and bohemian housing option, particularly in London. However, Dot Dot Dot’s emphasis on volunteering sets them apart from other companies, and events like this are designed to create communities of volunteers and charities in High Wycombe and beyond.
This 'speed lunch' gave us a chance to meet the volunteers that Dot Dot Dot house, along with the charities that the volunteers give their time to. Volunteers were given an opportunity to meet some local charities too. New links were forged, with organisations like ToolShed, Wycombe Homeless Connection and Chiltern Rangers all finding new potential volunteers.
The lunch was hosted in one of our buildings which is home to some of our Dot Dot Dot guardians, all of whom give 16 hours a month of their time to charitable organisations. We work with Dot Dot Dot to put unused properties back into use, in and around High Wycombe, housing people who do great volunteer work in the process. These particular properties became empty as part of an improvement programme which will see them redeveloped to provide more suitable housing for local people. Close to 50 volunteering property guardians are now housed by Dot Dot Dot and us around High Wycombe, and the unique project is growing fast. In the 11 months since Dot Dot Dot started to operate in the area, these volunteers have contributed nearly 3,000 hours of their time to charitable organisations, or equivalent to 1.5 years of full time work.
This lunch not only marked a celebration of our work together so far, but also the potential for further growth. If you would like to be part of this exciting and unique story, as an empty property owner or as a volunteering property guardian, get in touch with Dot Dot Dot via their website: www.dotdotdotproperty.com or by telephone on 020 3005 2457.