How we select our Charity of the Year
Our process to choose a charity of the year is internal, consequently we are unable to accept external applications from charities. Staff and partners are invited to complete a Charity of the Year Nomination Form which is submitted to our CSR Group. Following our charity criteria guidelines a list is drawn up internally and reviewed to provide a short-list. Short listed charities are contacted and invited to participate in a "mini fair", to present directly to the firm. This is followed by a firm wide vote, and the Charity with a majority of votes becomes our Charity of the Year. The selection process takes place during the autumn months and our charity year runs from 1 January to 31 December.
We encourage everyone in the Firm to engage in fundraising and volunteering activities.
We have chosen Place2Be as our Charity of the Year for 2018
"We are delighted to be starting a partnership with Place2Be this year and are looking forward to helping this excellent organisation achieve its strategic aims."
- Christopher Page, Senior Partner and Chair of the CSR Committee
Previous Charities of the Year
2017 - Carers Trust
2016 - Dementia UK
2015 - Bowel Cancer UK
2014 - Emmaus
2011/2012 - Winston's Wish
2010/2011 - Combat Stress
What we do
Volunteering is important at Charles Russell Speechlys and we encourage our staff to make the most of the volunteering opportunities offered to them. Not only are we helping those in need, but we are also nurturing our own personal and professional development. We aim to work with our local and the wider community to support the community through our volunteering.
Our Volunteering policy enables our staff to contribute their time and skill to activities in the communities in which they live and work. Everyone within the firm is entitled to 14 working hours per year to participate in volunteering initiatives. Different volunteering schemes are supported in communities across our offices.
School and Social Mobility initiatives
Volunteers assist at St George the Martyr Primary School and St Albans Primary School with reading programmes.
We deliver sessions for secondary School students at school events. These are designed to provide information for school students from Year 10 up to sixth form, about careers at law firms and in the City.
Our community work includes offering work experience to sixth form students from William Ellis School, City & Islington 6th Form College and St Saviours and St Olaves School through our participation in the Social Mobility Business Partnership programme and as signatories of PRIME, which is the commitment by law firms to broadening access to the legal profession by providing fair access to high quality work experience. We maintain ongoing links with students who have taken part in our programmes and help them with university applications and interviews. In our Cheltenham and Guildford offices we also work with the Pathways to Law programme of the Sutton Trust.
"What a lovely group of teenagers... they were wonderful. All were involved and keen. It was a pleasure to meet them." - Charles Russell Speechlys participant
"Incredibly valuable and enjoyable. A very memorable and comfortable experience." - Student participant
We mentor sixth form students at City and Islington College as they prepare to enter the workplace.
A number of lawyers are mentors for law students at the University of Law and BPP. Mentoring schemes match students who have limited access to the legal profession with mentors, taking into account practice areas and the student’s area of interest. Mentors can offer a valuable insight in to the legal practice, provide know-how to build networks, gain experience and self-confidence.
We work with the Blackfriars Settlement to run ‘Life Matters’ drop-in sessions on varied topics relevant to the Positive Aging Group at Blackfriars Settlement as well as organising an annual Halloween quiz night. Life Matters is a project run by our Trainee Solicitors who work in partnership with Blackfriars Settlement delivering entertaining and interactive presentations on legal topics to the Members of the Positive Aging Group at the Settlement.
We also volunteer with members of the Crusoe club, a group for the visually impaired who require a helping hand when going on day trips or somebody to chat to when they are at the Blackfriars Settlement.