As one of the most high profile law firms in the south east, we are committed to both our local business community and the broader public with whom we are involved. Our support is focused around giving our time, energy and legal expertise for the benefit of others.
Volunteering and pro bono
We encourage our people to take part in community activities in addition to their normal roles and it is through volunteering that we think we can make a difference.
Employer supported volunteering - provides staff with the opportunity to volunteer for up to seven hours a year, paid time off work, for either the firm’s nominated charities or a registered charity of the individual’s choice.
Employees are able to contribute to a cause that they care about and help their chosen charity achieve their goals. It is recognised that many staff already give their time to support a range of fundraising initiatives and the employer-supported volunteering scheme is designed to work in conjunction with any current volunteering activities.
- Many of our employees serve on the boards of various organisations and are governors of local schools and trustees of charities on a voluntary basis
- Pro bono – the firm’s trainee solicitors provide free advice at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/) and co-ordinate other local firms in a rota. We provide a supportive framework enabling the trainees to participate in the programme, something we have done for over a decade
This firmwide commitment not only benefits the local community but also helps develop the expertise and skills of our trainees and provides them with exposure to a range of real-life situations.
Preparing people for the workplace
Work experience is becoming increasingly important as it helps people prepare for work and develop general business awareness. It is also an opportunity to learn more about a desired career and to gain valuable practical knowledge.
From an employer’s perspective, they benefit from the confidence and the practical skills the individual brings to their organisation and the potential insight into the work involved.
- We seek to help people of all ages and backgrounds understand the world of work and make decisions about their education and career, by providing various work experience and pre-employment schemes. See our Join Us section for further information on work experience, undergraduate work placements and apprenticeships.
Other ways in which we help include:
- National Citizens Service (NCS) and The Challenge - is a government-funded programme that helps children (aged 15-17) build skills for work life and transition into adulthood. Working jointly with The Challenge, we support their programme by being involved as ‘pitch advisers’ in a “Dragons Den” type challenge, where a team of young people pitch a local community business idea to the panel. We also host a ‘professional visit’ for the team to visit our offices and receive feedback on their pitch prior to their final presentation to the ‘advisers’
- Skinners Kent Academy (SKA) in Tunbridge Wells is an International Baccalaureate® World School. As a key business partner we support the academy in various capacities.
Working in local partnership
- Royal Tunbridge Wells Together (RTWT) - was set up in 2016 as a Town Centre Partnership, supported by several local businesses and the Borough Council. As one of the original funding business partners and with representation on the board, we are committed to achieving its overall aim of positioning the town as a high quality destination for retail, business, leisure and culture, and maintaining its competitive edge over other locations in the south east.
A major step forward has been the agreement for the town centre area to become a Business Improvement District (BID). During the five year term of the BID, which starts from 1 April 2019, we will continue to support and work closely with the partnership, to ensure the aims and objectives of the business plan are achieved.
Sponsoring community activities
The firm continually reviews opportunities to sponsor appropriate events and activities as a way of supporting our local community. Not only does the particular business benefit from our financial support but it often creates an occasion for us to entertain our clients by way of corporate hospitality. It can also increase employee loyalty and engagement. We support a diverse range of both business and social type activities, including:
- Jazz on the Pantiles - as headline sponsor for the last few years, we have seen this event surge in popularity and receive the Silver Award in the Tourism Event/Festival of the Year category in 2018’s Beautiful South Tourism Awards. The fixture, which runs throughout the summer, attracts thousands of visitors and provides us with the opportunity to entertain clients, referrers and other business contacts
- SportsAid - we continue to support young, local athletes through the annual sponsorship programme run by SportsAid. The charity enables us to sponsor some of Great Britain’s brightest sporting prospects, who otherwise depend heavily on their parents for funding. The financial award helps towards training and competition costs and acts as a real motivational boost as it is often the first recognition they receive outside of their support network.
- We sponsor a nominated charity over a two year period and maintain an active programme of events providing our employees with the opportunity of getting involved in raising funds, volunteering and learning about the worthy causes
The organisations are chosen by our staff and the nominated charity we are promoting and supporting from 2019 through to 2021, is Dandelion Time
You can find out more about these charities by visiting our dedicated Nominated Charity page
- A charity trust fund is maintained by the firm providing us with the flexibility to make ad hoc donations throughout the year, to causes which are of particular importance to our clients or staff. The fund is managed by the Senior Partner.