The Acorn Group have been supporting and sponsoring local schools, charities and communities for a number of years. Their hands-on staff can often be found helping set up community events, serving food at the Manna Centre in SE1, or taking part in their ‘Acorn Bake Off’ to raise money for local causes, all whilst running London’s number 1 independent estate agency. Although in 2018, the Group’s Corporate and Social Responsibility team embarked on a project quite unlike any other.
A chance meeting between Acorn’s CEO Rob Sargent and Jo Chandler, Head of Governors at St Saviour’s School, sparked the beginning of something special, and when Jo explained how funding reforms meant that the school were unable to develop under-utilised spaces within the building, Rob was certain he wanted to help.
Following a visit to St Saviour’s, Rob and the Acorn CSR team offered to refurbish their uninspiring library facility and transform it into a colourful, engaging and vibrant space to learn. Both the staff and students were involved in the creative design, and thousands of brilliant books were donated by the public to stock the new space. Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan, who officially opened the new library, said of the project: “This is exactly the kind of investment that we need more of. The help that it will give young people should not be underestimated”.
Having been blown away by both the quality and quantity of books donated, The Acorn Group decided to develop the book collection idea into an ongoing initiative, and at the end of 2018 the Acorn Book Club launched!
Run by Emma Fox, CSR Manager, the Acorn Book Club (or ABC) works with the public, their staff and clients throughout The Acorn Group to ensure pre-loved children’s books get into the hands of local schools, hospices and organisations that do not have sufficient funding to purchase them from new. Donations are accepted at any Acorn, Langford Russell or John Payne office within the Group’s extensive London and Kent branch network. These books are then redistributed locally, with the aim of promoting a life-long love and passion for reading!
The ABC is now the primary focus of the property firm’s charitable giving and CSR work and with 5 new offices opened in 2018, and 2 already set for 2019, there’s no doubt the Group’s reach is significant.