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01 December 2021

Pro bono client The Matrix Trust opens The Hideaway café in Guildford

Charles Russell Speechlys first connected with youth charity The Matrix Trust  when a grant was awarded by our Guildford Community Fund, managed through the Community Foundation for Surrey, to help fund Matrix’s core costs. While Guildford is often seen as a place of wealth, Matrix highlight the very real needs of many young people in the community who are often living in concealed poverty. The charity has been operating for over 20 years to catalyse change for vulnerable young people by connecting them to their community. They take a holistic approach, and their support includes running workshops, hosting safe social spaces, empowering youth with new skills, and providing 1-2-1 support.

In recent years, the charity decided they wanted to adapt their charity structure by setting up a social enterprise café in the form of a community interest company known as The Hideaway. Profits from every purchase at the café are fed back into Matrix youth projects. The building, located in the heart of Guildford town centre and which would house their new café, needed extensive building work, and as tenants of a council owned building, they needed support to negotiate their lease.

Ingrid Saffin, Partner in Real Estate, was connected with the Matrix team and worked closely with them over the past year to negotiate an excellent 20-year lease which enabled them to move ahead with the planned works and ultimate opening of their new café earlier this year. Speaking on her pro bono assistance, Ingrid outlined “I was delighted to support the work of The Matrix Trust to secure this new lease for them. The work which Matrix are doing here in the local community in Guildford is really important and I hope their fantastic new café will be somewhere which not only provides a safe social space for youth in the community, but also enables them to generate much needed income for the work of their charity.”  

Commenting on the pro bono work carried out, CEO of Matrix, Misty Bower, outlined “The Charles Russell Speechlys team that worked with us were really generous with their time and expertise. They guided us on where they could help most effectively and were able to explain the legal jargon and processes so we could genuinely understand the different stages and actions better. As a small charity, having this pro bono support was invaluable, enabling us to be able to grow in new areas with the support and advice that we needed.”

If you are interested in hearing more on our pro bono practice or to find out how you can get involved, please contact Sarah Farrelly

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