London-based interactive agency Cimex has secured the tender to develop a ‘Build a City’ website for housing and homelessness charity Shelter.

The site will form the central marketing tool for a £100,000 fundraising campaign to help fund Shelter’s vital work with homeless and badly housed people.

The charity is also currently campaigning for a commitment from Government to build 20,000 extra social homes each year to help tackle Britain’s housing crisis - which means that today one in seven children are growing up homeless or badly housed.

The initiative, due to launch this summer, aims to raise £100,000 from 10,000 cash donations by asking site users to “buy a virtual house for £10 and help someone find and keep a real home.” Donors will be able to give more if they wish.

The Cimex-built site will use flash technology to develop a friendly layout that will engage audiences and help build awareness of Shelter and its work. The agency aims to create a ‘product’ that people can buy in an attempt to maximise the fundraising potential of the site.

Matt Goody, Shelter’s head of direct marketing, said: “This is part of our ongoing strategy to diversify the way people can support Shelter. We hope this site will reach a new audience and recruit new supporters in a cost effective way.

By visiting Shelter’s ‘Build a City’ site and buying a home in our virtual world, the online community can help give a real family the chance of a safe, permanent home – and a brighter future.”


- Cimex and Shelter spokespeople are available for comment – please contact Solange Nolan at Cimex on 020 7324 7780 or or Emma Guise at Shelter on 020 7505 2162 or

- Shelter helps more than 170,000 people a year fight for their rights, get back on their feet, and find and keep a home. We also tackle the root causes of Britain's housing crisis by campaigning for new laws, policies and solutions. Bad housing robs children of their health, education and a fair chance in life. For further information visit

Published on: 12:00AM on 10th May 2007