Corporate social responsibility report

1st October 2013 to 30th September 2014

Contact

Address
1 London Street,
Reading,
RG1 4PN

Telephone
+44 (0)118 951 6200

Email
enquiry@fsp-law.com

Philippa Roles

Philippa Roles

We take CSR very seriously, giving it a key status within our overall ethos. Responsibility for CSR activities lies with the CSR Partner, Philippa Roles. Separately on environmental matters, responsibility lies with the Environmental Partner, Joe Lott.

To reinforce this ethos and to ensure that our staff, clients and contacts are kept informed about the full extent of our involvement with CSR projects, every year we report on activities undertaken by the firm and its staff. We continue to be delighted that our activities are well supported and we remain indebted to the dedication and generosity of our staff, clients and contacts.

The 2013/14 CSR year has been quite a busy one, as is hopefully illustrated by the list of activities set out below.

Pro bono legal work

Volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Reading.

Pro bono mentoring / support

We encourage staff to give presentations at the University of Reading on working in the legal profession. In addition two members of staff are mentors for the College of Law helping students with their CVs and applications as well as giving general advice and insight on legal careers.

One of our partners is a mentor for the Real Estate Education Foundation and a number of our staff are supporters of and provide mentoring assistance through Adviza.

We continue to explore ways to work in partnership with local organisations to provide guidance to innovative start-up / early growth businesses in the Thames Valley.

We run a twice yearly charity leaders’ forum which charity representatives are invited to attend to receive free legal updates and to openly discuss (and hopefully find answers to) problems of current importance to them.

Charity/community involvement supported by FSP

Fundraising

Staff have been involved in the following fundraising events:

  • a world record breaking indoor row in aid of Cancer Research UK;
  • legal walk around Reading in aid of the Legal Support Trust;
  • entering a relay team into the Green Park Triathlon;
  • collecting for Rabbit Rescue;
  • attending the Carols by Candlelight evening in aid of Launchpad; and
  • abseiling down the Blade to raise money for the British Red Cross.

The firm has made donations to the following charities:

  • Rotary Club of Reading Matins
  • Centrepoint
  • Movember
  • Stroke Association
  • Vision Aid
  • Sport Relief
  • Hope and Homes for Children
  • Multi Faith County Service 100th Great War anniversary
  • Defence Medical Welfare Service
  • NSPCC
  • Rethink
  • Cats Protection
  • Retired Greyhounds Trust
  • Lizard Life Boat Appeal
  • Teenage Cancer Trust
  • St Edmund Campion School
  • SBA The Solicitors Charity
  • The Rotary Club of Pangbourne
  • The Outward Bound Trust
  • Mencap
  • Launchpad Reading

We have also sponsored the Reading Santa Charity Run which is held in aid of local charities, primarily Alexander Devine and The Duchess of Kent Hospice; and we purchased a table for the Style Acre Spring Ball.

Trusteeships

Several staff members sit on charity boards and/or are trustees. We allow staff reasonable time off to fulfil their obligations and will consider any other related requests for support. The organisations that have benefitted include:

  • Rotary Club of Caversham Trust Fund;
  • Purley Park Trust;
  • Duncan Trust;
  • Heart of Streatley Charitable Trust;
  • Launchpad Reading;
  • Family Resource UK;
  • Streatley Hill Pre-School;
  • Woodley Age Concern;
  • Ways and Means Trust (t/a as Greenshoots); and
  • Headway.

In most cases the trustee positions taken on by our staff are active roles requiring considerable effort and time commitment (for example as chairperson or treasurer).

In addition to the above, a member of staff sits on the fundraising committee for PALS (a charity for disabled children) and one of our partners is a deacon of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.

Governors / school involvement

Some staff members have taken on school governor roles at places such as the Salesian College in Farnborough and The Avenue Special Needs Academy. Many of our staff with children of school age are active on their local parent teacher associations.

One member of staff is a volunteer sailing instructor and another volunteers as a football coach for an under 8’s team.

Other activities

The fundraising/charitable activities that our staff gets involved with is wide and varied. Below are some examples of activities undertaken in the last year that do not fall within the categories set out above:

  • fostering stray and unwanted cats for Thames Valley Animal Welfare;
  • playing in a band providing music for charity events in the Reading, Newbury, Aldermaston and Basingstoke areas;
  • rescuing and walking stray dogs at weekends; and
  • Christmas carol singing.

In addition we continue to be involved in the following:

  • We have trainee solicitors on the Board of the Junior Lawyers Division of The Law Society (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire District)
  • We support students looking to enter the legal profession by running a programme of work experience placements and by speaking at universities.

Our next report will be issued in April 2015 (we will be resuming reporting on a 6 monthly basis) but there is a dedicated CSR page on our web page which is updated regularly.