Cala Homes team raises more than £21k for Samaritans after walking between each of its Aberdeen developments

27/07/2023
Cala Homes Team

TEAM members at Cala Homes (North), as well as its partners and suppliers have raised more than £21,875 for its national charity partner, Samaritans.

The Aberdeen-based homebuilder organised The ‘Cala North Walk 1875’ where participants walked between each of Cala’s developments, totalling more than 26.5 kilometres, to raise awareness of mental health issues and fundraise for the charity.

On Friday 30th June, a total of 76 walkers took to the streets of Aberdeen, beginning at Murtle Den Park at Oldfold Village before finishing at Craibstone Estate South, and arriving to celebration drinks and a feast from Hog Roast Aberdeen.

The ‘walk and talk’ event was organised by Cala to help raise awareness of mental health issues in the construction industry and to encourage people to open up and talk to others. The homebuilder initially set out with the target to raise £10,000.

It costs £5 for Samaritans to answer a potentially life-saving call for help. The total of £21,875 raised will help to ensure the charity can answer 3,777 calls from people struggling to cope.

Steve Jarvie, Construction Director at Cala Homes (North), said: “I’m speechless at how much we’ve raised for Samaritans. Our initial aim was to raise £10,000 for our charity partner, however thanks to the kindness and generosity of our colleagues, suppliers and partners, our total is currently standing at £21,875.

“The sponsored walk was months in the making, but the total raised and the atmosphere on the day was absolutely outstanding and worth all the planning. Despite the weather, everyone was in high spirits and a group of 32 even completed the full distance from Murtle Den Park to Craibstone whilst others completed legs of the walk.

“It was an honour to have local Samaritans volunteers there on the day and I hope everyone who participated was able to enjoy our celebrations at the finish line.

“The topic of mental health is high on the agenda for Cala and will continue to be. Throughout the years, we’ve carried out many initiatives such as training sessions and seminars – most recently all site staff have completed mental health first aid training.

“The Cala North Walk 1875 has been a great success and knowing the funds will make a vital difference to people in need is incredible.”

Harriet Foster, Senior Corporate Partnerships Executive, at Samaritans, said: “It was a privilege to take part in the 1875 “Walk and Talk” event with CALA. The dedication and effort that CALA colleagues put into organising the walk really shows how keen the staff are to support Samaritans’ work. Every penny they’ve raised will go towards helping to help ensure that we can continue to be there 24/7 for absolutely anyone who needs someone to listen.”

Maria Cowie, Aberdeen Samaritans Branch Director, said: “The Aberdeen branch of Samaritans is extremely grateful to receive a substantial donation raised by CALA North and their partners in their recent sponsored walk. This donation will help ensure that the branch can continue to provide the people of Aberdeen and beyond with emotional support during their darkest times. 

“Although Samaritans have a national partnership with CALA, it has been great for us at Aberdeen to establish links with CALA North and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Cala has partnered with Samaritans since 2020, fundraising and donating more than £450,000 to date to support the charity’s vital work. Samaritans has provided listening and emotional resilience training to help equip Cala’s 1,200 employees with the skills to take care of their own mental health, as well as being more aware of their co-workers’ emotional wellbeing.

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