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.
Charity of the Year
We are delighted to announce that we will be supporting Shannon Trust as our charity of the year of 2022.
Shannon Trust transforms lives by supporting disadvantaged people to learn to read. They believe nobody should be left out of learning. Their reading programmes are available in all prisons across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They also work with partner organisations in the community, supporting people to learn to read. Shannon Trust exists to support as many people as possible in the criminal justice system to learn to read, so they can pursue wider opportunities and thrive in the community.
“Did you know that over 50% of people in prison can’t read, or struggle to? Turning Pages, our evidence-based reading manuals, enable people to learn in a way that best suits them – either one-to-one or through self-study resources. Our flexible, informal approach even suits those who have never read a word before. Learning to read can be a powerful springboard into so many other opportunities, in fact 9 out of 10 Shannon Trust learners take up further education”.
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:
- Action Medical Research
- Age Concern
- Children Heard and Seen
- City Harvest
- Fair Trials International
- FareShare Foodbank
- London Legal Support Trust
- Met Police for The Children’s Trust
- Teenage Cancer Trust
- The New Normal
- The Red Card
- The Windle Trust
- The Variety Club
- Wellbeing of Women
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.
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.
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.