Everyone deserves the right to live in a decent home. However, millions of people every year struggle with bad housing and homelessness across Britain. For example - Government figures show that nearly 81,000 homeless children are living in temporary accommodation (the highest level since 2009)1, whilst over a third (35%) of privately rented homes fail to meet decent standards in England2.
That is why we are fighting bad housing and homelessness
We’ve committed with Shelter, our charity partner, to improve the standard of 1m homes in the private rented sector by 2017. To achieve this, we are combining our expertise and capabilities to increase gas and electric safety, make homes more energy efficient, provide advice for tenants and landlords, and advocate higher standards across the sector.
But to ensure we make a greater contribution to families and children across Britain, our employees are also playing a vital role in the partnership through volunteering and fundraising. For example, we’ve just finished British Gas Treks Britain. I’m incredibly proud of what our people have achieved through the initiative so I wanted to tell you some more about it.
British Gas TreksBritain – over 14,000 miles trekked and £190,000 raised to tackle the issue
Come rain or sunshine, 1,500 British Gas employees, families, suppliers and friends at Shelter, put on their walking boots to trek across Britain in support of Shelter throughout June.
It was an exciting challenge and a great opportunity for British Gas to not only raise funds for Shelter, but also spend time with families and colleagues while getting fit and healthy. The treks spanned three distances from 10k to a half or full marathon across the UK in Scotland, Yorkshire, the North West, the Midlands, Thames Valley, Wales and Yorkshire.
Our people put in a great effort – together we trekked a total of 14,690 miles – the equivalent of more than half way round the Earth’s circumference! We also raised an amazing £196,000 which goes towards our £1m employee fundraising target that we hope to achieve by 2017.
In the rest of the year, we look forward to continuing to work closely with Shelter to combat bad housing and homelessness – I’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress.
1 England figures taken from Statutory Homelessness: October to December Quarter 2013 England, and related live tables released by the DCLG.
2 Key contributing factors include homes being too cold, in bad repair or having poor health and safety: English Housing Survey 2010/11, DCLG, 2012.