Corporate social responsibility

A mixed crew of gnarled old hands and fresh faced novices gathered on the banks of the River Tone prepared to give their all for Clarke Willmott in the Headway Somerset Dragon Boat Race

A mixed crew of gnarled old hands and fresh faced novices gathered on the banks of the River Tone prepared to give their all for Clarke Willmott in the Headway Somerset Dragon Boat Race

Birmingham office welcomed over 90 guests to their annual charity quiz supporting their chosen charity

Birmingham office welcomed over 90 guests to their annual charity quiz supporting their chosen charity

Members of the London office took part in the 2018 London Legal Walk on 21 May

Members of the London office took part in the 2018 London Legal Walk on 21 May

Georgia Harding, Southampton, spent a week volunteering in Thailand looking after Elephants - one of these days counted as her 2017 CSR day

Georgia Harding, Southampton, spent a week volunteering in Thailand looking after Elephants - one of these days counted as her 2017 CSR day

Members of staff from the Taunton office and their family members recently took part in the 30th annual Soroptimist Swimathon at Taunton School

Members of staff from the Taunton office and their family members recently took part in the 30th annual Soroptimist Swimathon at Taunton School

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CSR at Clarke Willmott

At Clarke Willmott, we consider there to be three significant elements to acting responsibly as a business. Namely, how we act towards our people, how we treat the environment and how we impact upon and interact with our local community and the wider world.

All three strands are, of course, interrelated and overall our policies in these three areas form the core of our corporate social responsibility policy.

Our people

As a professional practice our people are at the very core of our business. It is crucial to the overall wellbeing of our business that our people are treated fairly, with respect and are given the opportunity to nurture and develop their skills. We are an equal opportunities practice and are proud of the diversity of our people.

Our environment

As well as looking after our people in the present, we recognise we have a responsibility to future generations to operate our business in a way which minimises our impact on the environment. We have worked hard to reduce our energy consumption per capita and to operate in a much “greener” and more sustainable way.

Our communities

The third strand of our CSR policy is all about our responsibility to the communities which surround our offices.

The key principle underpinning our commitment to giving something back is to support the local communities around the offices in which we work. As a firm we recognise that we and our staff are an integral part of those communities and we want to play a full and meaningful role in the life of the people who live and work around us.

 

Our people are actively encouraged to get involved in various community and charitable initiatives and we promote our “Community Day” whereby every person who works at Clarke Willmott is encouraged to take a day out on full pay to assist in a community or charity project.

Our activities have ranged from providing reading buddies in local schools through to painting and gardening at a community centre; from assisting young people from a disadvantaged background with interview and job seeking skills through to helping out with a team building project for children to prepare them for entering work.

We mainly work with our chosen charities, but will consider supporting other worthy causes by providing volunteers for specific projects in our communities.

Our chosen charities

Each office selects its own local charity to support for a period of two years. These in turn become the main focus of our charitable giving.

We hold events to raise much needed funds for the charities, make donations to them from a wide variety of sponsored activities, and wherever possible our staff volunteer to do valuable work supporting the aims, objectives and service users of the charities.

Our current charities are:

Birmingham

Sport 4 Life

Sport 4 Life is currently celebrating its 10th birthday as the charity that changes the lives of Birmingham’s most disadvantaged young people through the power of sport. Founded in 2006 as a small community project in the ward of Ladywood, they have developed into the leading sport employment charity across the city of Birmingham.

Young people born into disadvantage face an uphill struggle from the start. Many lack positive role models or positive aspirations, and make the wrong choice in life. They fail at school and then fail to move into work. Sport 4 Life UK believe in a level playing field for young people and are proud to create a better future for young people (aged 12-25) by improving their employability and key life skills, through their award-winning sports-themed personal development programmes, as outlined below:

The ‘TEENS’ programme (ages 12-16), is a 10-week sports-themed personal development initiative, develops key life skills at an earlier age, reducing the chance of teenagers becoming NEET in the future. It is a proactive and strategic intervention, tackling the issue of youth unemployment at source.

The ‘NEETS’ programme (aged 16-25), is a 5-week sports-themed employability initiative, provides the necessary employability and life skill support to NEET young people, guiding them back into education, employment or training.

Sport 4 Life provide young people with real opportunities to create a better future for themselves, emancipating them from their circumstances for which they didn’t choose. We provide targeted programmes that focus on life skill development (especially: team work, communication, leadership and respect) and employability, through activities that are proven to positively impact on these areas (including: fun sport sessions, accredited training qualifications, social action, one-to-one mentoring and workshops).

Sport for Life charity logo

Bristol

Unseen

Unseen is a Bristol-based charity working towards a world without slavery.  They operate across three main areas:

  • Supporting survivors; by providing access to a range of specialist services including a 24hr safe-house and resettlement programme, enabling them to safely recover and develop resilience.
  • Equipping stakeholders; by providing training, advice and resources to increase identification of victims.
  • Influencing systemic change; by using their experience and research to inspire transformation across legislation, policy and society.

Unseen charity logo

Cardiff

Shelter Cymru

Shelter Cymru is Wales’s people and homes charity. They believe that a decent secure home is a fundamental right and essential to the health and well-being of people and communities.

Shelter Cymru provides:

  • A frontline service to support families at risk of losing their homes or in housing need. Bad housing and homelessness can affect anyone. Shelter Cyrmu gives practical housing advice and support, on a wide range of housing issues such as housing benefit, mortgage/rent arrears, possession action, unsuitable accommodation and poor housing conditions. Our Housing Law Caseworkers are supported by our Legal Services Team, who provide specialist legal advice and expertise and carry out a wide range of higher level certificated casework.
  • A comprehensive training and events programme that informs professionals working across the housing sector. They advise and train people working in the housing field in Wales, to enable them to provide better housing services. As well as training courses, they also run conferences and seminars designed to address topical housing issues and major changes in housing law and practice.
  • A campaigning force that influences change at a national and local level on homelessness and housing. Preventing homelessness is central to Shelter Cymru’s work. They help thousands of families across Wales with housing problems every year, so they know better than anyone where a change in legislation could make a difference.

They campaign for new ways of eliminating homelessness and housing need, and changes in legislation, policy and practice to improve the housing and homelessness situation across Wales.

Shelter Cymru charity logo

London

St Mungo’s

The charity was founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers who decided to do something to help homeless people. The charity now helps thousands of people throughout London and the South of England.

St Mungo’s pioneered many of the services which are now a part of the homelessness sector practice and projects. These include the first specialist projects solely for people sleeping rough suffering from mental illness (40% of rough sleepers have a mental health condition), alcohol misuse and the elderly.

St Mungo’s focus on the challenges that our society face at present. 4,000 people sleep rough on the streets across England every night. This number is rising.

St Mungo’s want everyone to have a place they call home, and the opportunity to fulfil their hopes and ambitions. The charity works to reverse the rise in homelessness and their aim is to halve the number of people sleeping rough by 2021. The charity use a recovery based approach and the individuals unique skills as a foundation upon which to build their recovery.

The causes and consequences of homelessness are complex. In order to meet the challenges of such complexity, St Mungo’s have built a wide-ranging network of projects and services to help people become housed, healthier and more hopeful.

St Mungo's charity logo

Manchester

Mustard Tree

Since 1994, Mustard Tree has transformed the lives of people in Greater Manchester who are trapped in poverty or homelessness, by enabling them to gain the skills and self-confidence they need to reach their full potential.

Their focus is on tackling both the causes and consequences of poverty by offering:

  • Provision: When people are in crisis Mustard Tree offer food, clothing and furniture. By meeting their basic needs Mustard Tree establish a relationship of trust and open the door of welcome, hope and possibility.
  • Progression: Mustard Tree offer life-skills, training, volunteering, education, mentoring and employment opportunities to help people to increase their resilience and enable them to escape poverty and homelessness – for good.
  • Partnership: Mustard Tree work collaboratively with our beneficiaries, enabling them to contribute to the Mustard Tree Community and work with them to set self-determined goals, as well as working with individuals, agencies, businesses and community groups to broker long-term solutions to the poverty and inequality in the city.

Mustard Tree charity logo

Southampton

SERV Wessex

SERV Wessex is a registered charity (No. 1156383) that provides a free out of hours transportation service for NHS Hospitals in the Hampshire, Dorset and South Wiltshire areas, 365 days per year, between 19:00 and 06:00 weekday evenings and 24hrs a day at weekends and on public holidays.

SERV Wessex transports blood products and other urgent consignments allowing hospitals to divert financial and staff resources elsewhere. These include:

  • Blood for transfusion, platelets or other blood products which must be supplied to us in the appropriate insulated packaging
  • Blood, urine or other tissue samples for analysis by pathology and microbiology laboratories
  • Human Milk
  • X-rays, scans and CDs
  • Patient notes
  • Any other medical items or small pieces of medical equipment

All of their members are volunteers and cover all fuel and servicing costs for their vehicles themselves.

The service is run entirely on donations, SERV Wessex does not receive any funding apart from charitable donations.

SERV Wessex is always looking for more volunteers, riders, drivers, controllers and fundraisers.

If you are interested in getting involved as a rider/driver/controller, helping out with events or becoming a sponsor, please contact secretary@servwessex.org.uk.

Lives would be lost without the continued support given to SERV Wessex.

SERV Wessex charity logo

Taunton

Pancreatic Cancer UK

Pancreatic Cancer UK is a registered charity that aims to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer patients.

The charity want to make sure that everyone affected by it gets all the help they need by:

  • providing expert, personalised support and information via their support line and through their range of publications;
  • funding innovative research to find the breakthroughs that will change how the charity understands, diagnoses and treats pancreatic cancer; and
  • campaigning for change; for better care, treatment and research, and for pancreatic cancer to have the recognition it needs.

Pancreatic Cancer UK charity logo

SAVES: Somerset Accident Voluntary Emergency Service

SAVES is a registered charity that provides a network of doctors to support the ambulance service in Somerset. The doctors have specialised training in the emergency management of trauma and medical conditions outside hospital. They respond to incidents at the request of ambulance control in their own cars, which are equipped with blue lights and sirens for those with ambulance approved driver training (and green lights for those who have not).

Most of their work is in helping casualties of road traffic collisions, especially those who are trapped and seriously injured. They are also called to give immediate medical care to people who have become critically ill through medical problems or trauma.

The doctors are available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and perform this role in addition to their “day jobs” which are predominantly in General Practice or Accident and Emergency. In addition to organising and supporting these doctors, SAVES provides specialist equipment and training for this highly specialised role.

SAVES is one of a network of immediate care schemes across the UK which operate under the umbrella of the national organisation BASICS (The British Association for Immediate Care). The Scheme meets BASICS criteria for quality and has been accredited by BASICS. In March 2010 SAVES became more closely linked with the other schemes serving the South West Peninsula in a federation of the four schemes known as “BASICS South West”.

SAVES: Somerset Accident Voluntary Emergency Service charity logo

Our policy

To read our policy in full please view the Clarke Willmott Corporate Social Responsibility Policy PDF. We hope you find it informative and inspirational.

Contact us

If you want to know more about our corporate responsibility activities, or have a need for one off volunteers for a project, or would like to know how we select our charities of the year, please complete our contact form.

Your key contacts

Philip Edwards photo, Partner Serious Injury

Philip Edwards email-alt

Partner/Head of CSR

Birmingham and Manchester

Philip Edwards is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors' Birmingham Serious Injury team specialising in amputation, spinal cord injury.

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Stephen Rosser photo, Chief Executive

Stephen Rosser email-alt

Chief Executive

Bristol

Stephen Rosser is Clarke Willmott's Chief Executive having been elected to that position in May 2010.

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