Corporate social responsibility report

1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015

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. The current report covers a six month period as opposed to 12 months, because with effect from 1 April 2015 we intend to implement a new CSR policy. We have undertaken a detailed review of the CSR policy and have concluded that changes are required to ensure that the CSR policy remains relevant to the firm and our staff, thereby ensuring that it is both achievable and effective.   

For the six months from 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015 we continued to be delighted that our activities were well-supported and we remain indebted to the dedication and generosity of our staff, clients and contacts. We are particularly grateful to all those who supported our cross-firm initiative to raise sponsorship for staff taking part in the Reading Half Marathon to raise money for Headway (see further below).

Pro bono legal work

Providing advice and assistance to the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) on ad hoc legal issues.

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. We also offer work experience places to University of Reading students and to other students who have expressed an interest in learning more about working within the legal sector.

We have trainee solicitors on the Board of the Junior Lawyers Division of The Law Society (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire District)

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.

Charity/community involvement supported by FSP

Fundraising and Donations

On Sunday 22 March 2015 a team of 37 members of staff and friends/family took part in the Reading Half Marathon/Green Park challenge to raise funds for Headway, a charity that we have strong links with going back a number of years. We undertook a cross-firm initiative to try to raise £10,000 from family, friends, clients and contacts. In the end we raised £14,980 without Gift Aid; and with Gift Aid added in we raised £17,249.25.

Staff have also been involved in the following fundraising events over the last six months:

  • sponsored the Reading Santa Charity Run (organised by the Rotary Club) which is held in aid of local charities, primarily this year it was to raise money for Launchpad;
  • wearing Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save the Children.
  • pancake racing (in costume) in aid of Launchpad;
  • taking part in the Green Park Triathlon to raise money for Red Nose Day 2015;
  • collecting for Rabbit Rescue;
  • running the Marathon Des Sables to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Action and Fight for Sight;
  • attending the Reading/Slough YMCA carol concert;
  • attending the Carols by Candlelight evening in aid of Launchpad;
  • selling pin badges to raise money and profile for Halow; and
  • cake sale to raise funds for Headway.

In addition the firm has made donations to the following charities:

Reading Legal Walk

Cancer Research

Rotary Club of Reading

Reading Athletic Club

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Caversham Ward

Chris Champion’s Charity Bike Ride

Sue Ryder

The Rainbow Centre for Conductive Education

 

We also:

(i)             sponsored the Reading Sports Awards;

(ii)            purchased a table for the Trooper Potts VC Charity Ball;

(iii)           purchased a table at the Junior Lawyer Division charity quiz night; and

(iv)          attended the Wooden Spoon charity event night organised by Metro Bank.

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:

  • Purley Park Trust;
  • Duncan Trust;
  • Heart of Streatley Charitable Trust;
  • Launchpad Reading;
  • Family Resource UK;
  • Streatley Hill Pre-School;
  • 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 that do not fall within the categories set out above:

  • fostering stray and unwanted cats for Thames Valley Animal Welfare;
  • helping to socialise and care for unwanted rabbits;
  • 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.

Our next report will be issued in April 2016 but there is a dedicated CSR page on our web page which is updated regularly.