The LandAid Scotland Board has been set up to unite and engage the property and built environment industry in Scotland with the charity’s mission to end youth homelessness. LandAid provides grants and support to smaller charities, providing relief and security to the most vulnerable across the country, with a specific focus on young people between the ages of 16-25 years experiencing homelessness.
In Scotland young people between the age of 16-25 account for almost 12% of the overall population, but they comprise nearly 25% of all homeless applications, making them the most disproportionately over-represented group within the homeless community.
Leading from the front is Board chair Anne Breen, newly appointed global head of real estate at abrdn. She will be supported by other key property figures from across Scotland, including Carrie Armstrong, (partner at Addleshaw Goddard LLP), Mark Colquhoun (senior associate at BTO Solicitors), Susan Cresswell (managing director at Whitewall Marketing), Daniel Donald (project director at Square & Crescent), David Philip (director at Colliers), Steven Newlands (executive director at CBRE), Murray Strang (managing partner at Cushman & Wakefield), Neil Wotherspoon (partner at TFT), and Russell Munro (partner at Pinsent Masons).
New board members will be joining a nationwide community with this being LandAid’s sixth regional board across the UK. This breadth spans across Yorkshire and Humber, the South West, the North West, the Midlands and the Eastern region.
The launch of the board follows a growing sense of momentum in Scotland around support for ending youth homelessness. In March 2023, Glasgow became the first city to host a LandAid SleepOut, where property professionals braved a night sleeping outside in the cold to raise money to support youth homelessness projects. Across seven UK locations this event raised an incredible £677,199.22.
Anne Breen said: “I spoke a lot to my colleague who I replaced as head of real estate at Abrdn, Neil Slater, who was passionate about LandAid and that helped make up my mind. I am slightly overwhelmed to take on the role as LandAid has been so successful, but it is a huge issue in Scotland, and something that as an industry we can do something about. My role is basically to facilitate the good work that can be done here. I think we all know, particularly now, that there is a large percentage of the population that is only one pay packet away from being homeless and we want to work to help provide a structure and a basis to have a home.”
Katie Stephenson, national partnerships development manager at LandAid said: “LandAid is a UK-wide charity with a local focus. Through our Grants programme, we have already awarded Scottish youth homelessness charities with grants totalling £235,000. Through our new Scotland Board, we can harness the power of the Scottish property industry to create even more impact through our fundraising and pro bono for these vital charities. Our presence will ensure we can keep an ear to the ground on local strategies and initiatives to tackle youth homelessness, and work in partnership to make real change happen.”