We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...
Our community investment programme is at the very centre of our approach to being a socially responsible and sustainable business and we take our commitment to the local community very seriously.
As a law firm, we encourage all our people to actively engage in local community-based programmes and initiatives as part of our wider aim to build on the values we hold as a firm and to have a positive and beneficial impact on the communities in which we work.
Our longstanding tradition of service in the community spans a wide and diverse range of causes including fostering long-term relationships with charities and other chosen organisations through to working with young people as part of a local authority’s programme of careers advice clinics to schools and colleges.
Such initiatives not only benefit the local community at large but also provide an opportunity for our own people to work with other people within the firm encouraging a spirit of teamwork across a series of sometimes challenging, but always rewarding, activities.
As part of our 50th anniversary year, we were delighted to work with Vitalise (formerly The Winged Fellowship Trust) as our charity of the year. Vitalise has been providing short breaks for disabled people and their carers at accessible centres throughout the UK since 1963 and firmly believes that disabled people should have the same rights, freedoms, responsibilities and quality of life as those without disabilities.
Since that time, we have been privileged to have had the opportunity to work with and support a number of other national and locally-based charities including:
The Garden House Hospice – a registered charity based in Letchworth Garden City offering hospice care and support to patients with a terminal diagnosis;
The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice – an organisation offering a range of care services for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families either in the family home, in the community or at Shooting Star House, the purpose-built facility based in Hampton, Middlesex;
Families for Children – one of the largest and most successful independent fostering organisations in the South East with nine local centres supporting a team of nearly 200 fostering families and 90 staff;
The Asian Foundation for Philanthropy – established in 2005, ‘AFP’ provides a channel for people to contribute to poverty reduction in India by creating an innovative movement of positive action through raising awareness, transference of skills and donating to worthy causes in India;
The Swimathon Foundation – the Foundation promotes itself and its charitable activities through the nationwide network of Swimathon events to encourage members of the public, whatever their age or ability, to understand the benefits of regular swimming as a means to improve health and wellbeing. 70% of funds raised in the 2009 Swimathon were used by the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity.
The Dream Makers Ball – one of the highlights in the annual calendar of activities organised by the Dream Makers charity, the Ball raises much-needed funds to help realise the wishes and dreams of hundreds of sick children who suffer many different types of illnesses causing life-time disabilities such as cerebral palsy and respiratory difficulties as well as fatal illnesses including cancer and leukaemia.
Aspire – through its projects and programmes, Aspire offers practical support to the 40,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK so that they can lead fulfilled and independent lives in their homes, with their families, in the workplace and in their leisure time.
St Luke’s Hospice – since opening the hospice at Kenton Grange in 2000, the charity has provided specialist palliative care for over 1,500 patients with advanced, progressive illnesses from the Harrow and north Brent areas as well as providing support to their families and carers.
In addition, the firm has recently supported the Legal Charities Garden Party, set up to raise funds for various legal benevolent associations, and sponsored Pinner & Grammarians RFC. We are also providing pro bono advice to The Commonwealth Health Foundation, a charity set up to relieve sickness and to preserve and promote good health among the peoples of the British Commonwealth
At the same time, individual members of staff have undertaken a number of fund-raising activities ranging from a 13.1km half-marathon in London’s Hyde Park on behalf of Parkinson’s UK (formerly Parkinson’s Disease Society) and a 56-mile London-to-Brighton cycle ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Looking to the future, the firm is actively involved in a project with Brent & Harrow Education Business Service which aims to develop closer links between business and education through an on-going programme of career advice clinics and work experience for school-leavers and college students.