Capco continues to work to benefit the communities in which we operate and to support our chosen charities.
Supporting the local community
Capco co-ordinated initiatives to promote a greener, more biodiverse and culturally rich estate at Covent Garden for the benefit of the local community. We provide support to a range of local community-focused programmes and are one of the main sponsors of the Covent Garden food bank, making significant contributions and providing assistance throughout the year. When planning the proposed extension to the al fresco seating for restaurants across the estate, we engaged with local residents via a detailed consultation to ensure their views were properly considered, and were pleased that the majority of local residents were supportive of the proposal.
We intend to launch our Covent Garden Community Charter during 2022 for the benefit of the community and have been consulting with the local community on our plans. It is the intention that the Covent Garden Community Charter will be a voluntary code of conduct aimed at all Covent Garden occupiers to help engender a neighbourly approach to living and working in Covent Garden, whilst helping to support the more effective implementation of our ESC strategy.
Supporting Covent Garden’s cultural heritage
The heritage of Covent Garden is important and we support a number of organisations that work in this area. During 2021, we funded an outdoor theatre stage for the IRIS Theatre Company at St. Paul’s Church and our employees provided further marketing and promotional expertise to this community-based charity. We also donated to the Chicken Shed, a children’s and youth theatre charity that engages in community outreach projects. Capco is a corporate sponsor of the Mousetrap Theatre Project, which provides a range of subsidised theatre programmes and creative learning projects accessible to young people, low-income families and those with additional needs. We continued to support the arts as a patron of the British Fashion Council and British Beauty Council. During the summer, we sponsored and supported the Royal Opera House to deliver ‘ROH Unlocked’, a month long cultural programme showcasing the best of the Royal Ballet and Opera across the estate.
Capco hosted its second ‘Gift for Good’ charity auction in partnership with charity Only a Pavement Away which works alongside Crisis. The auction raised over £11,300, which was matched by Capco, raising a total of £22,600 for the charity. During 2021, Capco supported a number of homelessness charities including St Mungo’s, a charity which works in the Covent Garden district supporting marginalised people to access recovery services, and The Connection at St. Martin’s, a homelessness charity that helps people to move away from, and stay off, the streets of London. Capco remains a strategic corporate partner of LandAid, the property
industry charity aimed at ending youth homelessness in the UK. Our Finance and Corporate Services teams volunteered at The Felix Project, which uses surplus food to provide healthy meals to charities and schools to support vulnerable people.
Young Westminster Foundation
Capco supported the Foundation’s ‘Mastering My Future’ Programme, which aims to raise young people’s awareness
of employment opportunities, develop confidence, self-esteem and communication skills, and provide hands-on experience with employers. We are proud to have been a supporter of this charity since its inception four years ago. We also co-ordinated a networking event to showcase the Westminster Employment Service to our food and beverage customers.
Apple Market Challenge
Capco facilitated the Apple Market Challenge for its 15th year. The initiative continues to be hugely successful and has now involved around 7,100 children since its inception. This year, pupils from four schools presented ideas for an innovative new product, which could be sold from the Apple Market in the Covent Garden Market Building. Four teams made the final round, and delivered their presentations to a panel of judges from our staff before a winner was chosen. The Challenge helps children to understand the various skills involved in running a small business, including marketing, design and finance. Our Director of Sustainability and Technology also spoke to the children about Capco’s ESC strategy and sustainability initiatives.
We support Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust with their digital support programme for the over-55’s. The Trust provides one-to-one training, helping older people access online services including doctors’ appointments, banking and shopping. They also provide hardware to encourage older people to get online without the initial cost outlay.
During 2021, one of our employees hosted a charity concert in aid of Blind Veterans UK, which helps ex-Service men and women of every generation rebuild their lives after sight loss. We also donated surplus IT equipment to the NHS Social Prescribers, One Westminster West End Community Trust, Age UK Westminster, West Central London Fixers and Single Homeless Project.
In conjunction with local residents and the Lord Mayor of Westminster Capco enabled a socially distanced Armistice Day Commemoration event on the Piazza which included the laying of a wreath to the memory of those who served in the Armed Forces and who worked in Covent Garden markets.
We continued to work with the Urban Land Institute on its Urban Plan Project. During the year we worked with students from Westminster Kingsway College and Ark Walworth Academy on an interactive online programme which helps young people understand the role real estate plays in renewing and regenerating urban areas and brings the urban environment to life through a series of workshops and team-working challenges. A number of Capco employees participated in the sessions. Capco participated in the Pathways to Property summer school presentation, alongside 30 other firms. This was an event held at the University of Reading with students participating in a number of events and lectures. The programme was held virtually over three days, culminating in the final day’s presentation to firms.