A social enterprise enabling people to live in buildings that would otherwise be empty has announced that more than 140 years’ worth (or 229,060 hours) of volunteering has been carried out by its residents since it began recording volunteering data in 2015.
Based on the assumption that all volunteering hours should be valued at the UK living wage of £9 per hour, this equates to at least £2.06 million worth of effort contributed to the voluntary sector.
Dot Dot Dot is built on the ‘property guardian’ model, where people are placed in buildings to take care of them on a temporary, flexible basis. Everyone it houses is chosen because they want to give time to charitable causes.
Dot Dot Dot residents are currently contributing around 5,500 hours of volunteering per month to charities and community organisations in Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire.
Around 250 charities are in receipt of voluntary assistance from Dot Dot Dot’s residents every month, while more than 3,000 charities have been helped since the organisation was established in 2011, and more than 1,200 people have been housed by Dot Dot Dot and contributed to their local communities through their volunteering.
There are volunteers contributing to organisations in all kinds of sectors, including community centres and organisations, crime and justice, crisis and poverty, culture and sport, education and art, environmental and gardening, fundraising, health and social care, and people, youth and family.
Katharine Hibbert, founder of Dot Dot Dot said:
“We are so proud to have reached this incredible milestone, which demonstrates the commitment and contribution that Dot Dot Dot guardians make to the UK voluntary sector. It is very satisfying to provide the best housing we can to people who are prepared to make a real effort to help others. I hope that by giving people pleasant, well-managed homes at a cost well below conventional rent, we make their lives easier and more enjoyable, as well as enabling them to give more time to causes they care about.”
Charities and organisations that benefit or have benefited from Dot Dot Dot’s property guardians include ActionSpace, a London-based visual arts organisations for artists with learning disabilities; Shakespeare’s Globe; Creatives Against Poverty; Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital; Wilton’s, the world’s oldest surviving Grand Music Hall; and Shout, the free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis.