Our commitment to Social Responsibility constitutes a significant proportion of the day to day activity within our business. Through our dedication to local communities, we are able to support and assist the development of important social projects.
By developing a strategy based on our talents and identifying ways to contribute to our local communities, we are building long-term relationships through the fulfilment of sustainable community projects.
For example, we are pleased to work alongside young children across the regions in partnership with local schools to develop reading skills. Following the success of Nottingham’s Year of Reading initiative, our Cardiff office is currently working with St Peter’s RC Junior School, listening to and encouraging Key Stage 1 and 2 children with a view to improving their literacy skills. In addition to the pleasure that we derive from being involved in these, and other projects, our involvement also provides the children with positive role models and makes the legal services industry seem more accessible to them.
In addition to our involvement in school reading initiatives, our interest in volunteer work encompasses many other ventures, including:
providing assistance on a voluntary basis as trustees and office holders to charities and other organisations, ranging from chairman of The Lord’s Taverners (Wales) to company secretary of Derbyshire Community Foundation. In addition, a number of our lawyers play a key role as voluntary school governors for local schools;
assisting a London primary school with the formation of a new school company under the Education Act 2002. This charitable company operates after school clubs and play-schemes and has been the catalyst to becoming an extended community school;
assisting a parent promoter's foundation to launch a new school. We assisted in navigation of relevant legislation and advised on its constitution and governance arrangements. We have assisted promoters of the first free schools on a pro-bono basis until funding could be secured.
As with all social responsibility, the work often takes place behind the scenes. We recognise and support the commitments of our staff involved in fundraising and mentoring work within their local communities. Regular examples of these commitments, (in addition to our weekly Reading schemes) include Pro Help and Cardiff Law Centre.
By showing support for our local communities, we work together to improve the life chances of students to pursue employment opportunities with us by making the law a viable career path for all those with the ability and ambition to pursue it. For example, we maintain strong links with Nottingham Law School to mentor LPC students who have not yet obtained training contracts. Each selected LPC student is paired with a qualified solicitor or trainee at Geldards and has the opportunity to ask them questions about their careers, how they secured their own training contracts and, we also offer valuable work experience at our offices. We believe this is a win-win situation, as it allows us to work closely with students who might have the ability to become successful Geldards trainees and solicitors but might otherwise be overlooked, as well as allowing the students an invaluable insight into the profession. We are looking to extend this mentoring scheme to additional universities in due course.
In our Nottingham office, the Networks team employs students that have completed the LPC qualification but who may not yet have obtained a training contract. In a large part thanks to the experience they gain working in the Networks team, most go on to obtain a training contract either within the firm or elsewhere.
We believe in supporting our local communities and improving the life chances of those within them to pursue employment opportunities with us. We accept students from local colleges and schools on work experience programmes every year, and we are delighted that several of these students, once having successfully completed their studies, have stayed working with us in interesting and fulfilling roles.
The Firm, as a collective, votes on one national charity and a diverse range of personal and often lesser known, regional charities to which it pledges its support.
Throughout 2016-17 we are pleased to partner with Barnardos who are committed to helping children throughout the UK.