How we select our Charity of the Year
All charities nominated to be our Charity of the Year must meet our Charity Criteria. A list of charities is drawn up internally and is reviewed to provide a short-list of three. These three charities are 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 the 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 Carers Trust as our Charity of the Year for 2017
"We are delighted to work with Carers Trust and welcome them into the Charles Russell Speechlys fold. This initiative resonates well with our core values, respecting others and treating them accordingly, and illustrates our aim to be integrated with our wider community, helping where and how we can. The work of Carers Trust and support they provide is invaluable and we look 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
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 you, to make the most of the volunteering opportunities offered to you. Not only are you helping those in need, but you are also nurturing your 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 Legal Social Mobility Partnership 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 office 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.
Volunteers work with Young Enterprise, a not-for-profit business and enterprise education charity with an aim "to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise." There are a range of business and education programmes for young people are offered throughout the UK. We support Young Enterprise in various ways through membership of the Central North London Area Board, sponsoring local events and trainees volunteering as business mentors to students participating in Young Enterprise programmes.
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.
There are a number of projects you can get involved in, and one we are particularly proud of is our work with the Blackfriars settlement.
We work with the Blackfriars settlement to run ‘Life Matters’ drop-in sessions on varied topics relevant to the Older Service Users at Blackfriars. There is also the annual quiz for members of the Crusoe club 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.
Life Matters is a project for our trainee solicitors who work in partnership with Blackfriars Settlement delivering entertaining and interactive presentations on legal topics to the Members of the Older People’s Services at the Settlement.