BCL has an established Corporate Social Responsibility programme which is a key part of our business strategy. The aim of the programme is to assist in providing a positive working environment for our staff by helping our local and the wider legal communities.
As a central part of our programme, the firm donates a percentage of its annual turnover to charitable causes. Through these donations we support charities based in, or serving, our local community as well as those who work in the legal sector.
The charities we support are nominated by members of the firm and over the last few years have included:
- Alzheimer’s Society
- Action for Kids
- Action Medical Research
- Cancer Research
- Fair Trials International
- Greater London Fund for the Blind
- Great Ormond Street Hospital
- London Legal Support Trust
- Macmillan Cancer Support
- Momentum Children’s Charity
- South Thames Retrieval Service (part of Evelina Children’s Hospital)
- St Francis Hospice
- Solving Kids’ Cancer
- Teens Unite
- The Variety Club
- Windle International
The firm also encourages all staff to participate in fundraising and supports those who are taking part in sporting challenges and other charitable activities. We hold annual Macmillan coffee mornings and Comic/Sport Relief bake-offs. Further details of the funds raised and photographs can be found on News & Insights.
Charity of the Year
Each year, the firm has a specific ‘Charity of the Year’. This is a charity nominated by and voted for by all members of staff, to which the firm makes a substantial donation and the staff arrange specific fundraising events throughout the year. In 2019, we will be supporting Momentum Children’s Charity. This Charity supports children with cancer and other life-threatening conditions from diagnosis to bereavement. Their ethos is that no family should have to cope alone and they aim to provide the support and assistance required for the children and their families each and every step of the way, forever. Each family is allocated a Family Support Worker and they offer support in various ways as detailed below:
- Therapy services for children and their siblings including music, play and art therapy undertaken at home and/or in hospital;
- Support groups sharing experiences with other local families in the same or similar situations;
- Arranging respite holidays at two holiday cabins owned by Momentum in the New Forest, where families can go for a much-needed break;
- Family experiences which include organising magical moments when times are particularly tough;
- Bereaved families, offering support should the worst happen for as long as they need their support; and
- Refurbishing local hospitals and enhancing the facilities adding colour, play and other comforts.
Many of our fee earners participate in projects giving pro bono advice. In particular, we are involved in Amicus (www.amicus-alj.org). Amicus assists lawyers and legal charities in the US who represent those on death row, as well as some individuals who are without representation, in the preparation of cases for appeal against conviction and/or sentence.
We also provide ad hoc pro bono advice.
We have increased our re-cycling, introduced low voltage lighting and try to ensure that any old (but functioning) IT equipment is donated to local charities & schools. We also provide second hand legal textbooks to the International Law Book Facility who then distribute them to not for profit organisations in need.
Please monitor News & Insights for updates on the above including further details of fundraising events and pro bono work.
Employer Supported Volunteering Policy
Volunteering gives people the opportunity to gain fulfilment by working on issues they feel passionate about and it can also help build connections with our local communities.
Community and voluntary sector organisations often have low budgets and greatly value enthusiastic volunteers with specialist skills, expertise and knowledge. Life can be hectic though, and it is not always easy to take time away from our busy work, personal and family lives.
To demonstrate BCL’s commitment to volunteering, 1 day’s paid ‘Employer Supported Volunteering Day’ per annum is available to all staff and partners in addition to their normal annual leave. Participation is encouraged to support local causes, take part in team challenges to support our chosen charities, or to support one off events in the community.