Corporate social responsibility report

1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016

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 the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

Surprisingly, year on year we are able to continue saying (and genuinely mean) that the activities supported by our staff (and indeed inspired and organised by our staff) are not only well supported but also increase in frequency with each year. There is no better example of what a wonderful group of people make up the FSP team than looking over the list of CSR activities that staff are involved with; both cross-firm and personally.

In the year 2015/16 we have been actively in the following projects and fundraisers.

Pro bono legal work

One of our Commercial Property partners is providing pro-bono legal advice to the Goring and Cleeve Pre-School.

Our Banking and Finance Partner is a volunteer director at the Berkshire Credit Union.

We have provided advice and assistance to the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) on ad hoc legal issues. The CSR Partner is also a private sector representative on the TVB LEP partnership board and the chairperson of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Pro bono mentoring / support

We encourage staff to give presentations at the University of Reading and for the National Citizen Service 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. Another member of staff is a mentor for students at the Guildford College of Law.

We do interview training in local schools through the Central Berkshire Education Partnership. 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 junior and 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

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

  • Raising funds for Christmas presents for children and making up shoe boxes with presents for Caversham School’s “Operation Christmas Child”.
  • Running the Reading Half Marathon in aid of Launchpad.
  • Running the Rome Marathon in aid of Mind.
  • Supporting the Local Arts Loan project by hiring local artwork for display in our office.
  • Supporting the Woodland Centre Trust through various projects under the project tag of Camp Mohawk.
  • Taking part in Ironman UK (raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society).
  • Wearing Christmas jumpers to raise money for Macmillans and Save the Children.
  • Pancake racing (in costume) in aid of Launchpad.
  • Taking part in the Sports Relief Triathlon.
  • Collecting for Rabbit Rescue.

But it’s not all hard work; staff have also attended fundraising quiz nights for the following:

o Sue Ryder and Multiple Sclerosis Society
o Together for Short Lives
o Camp Mohawk
o Teenage Cancer Trust

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

Puzzle Centre
Fara Charity Shops
Macmillan Cancer Support
Ovarian Cancer Action / Fight for Life
Kamuli Friends
Alzheimers Society
Sue Ryder
Cancer Research UK
Action for A-T
Teach a Man to Fish
Norcot Association
Movember

We also:

(i) sponsored a “race night” fundraiser for the Jakata Education Foundation;
(ii) sponsored one of the awards at the Get Berkshire Active Awards;
(iii) spoke at a Law Works presentation on the merits for business of doing pro bono work;
(iv) made one of our large meeting rooms available for RSPCA meetings; and
(v) purchased a table for ten people at the Reading YMCA anniversary fashion awards.

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:

  • RSPCA (Reading and Oxon Borders);
  • Purley Park Trust;
  • Duncan Trust;
  • Heart of Streatley Charitable Trust;
  • Launchpad Reading;
  • Family Resource UK;
  • GAP Festival
  • Rosie’s Rainbow Trust
  • 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 another is on the Wargrave Lido fundraising committee.

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 there are numerous others that volunteer as a football coaches for under 7’s, under 8’s and under 9’s teams.

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:

  • walked the Thamespath Challenge to raise money for Dingley Nursery
  • 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;
  • youth leader for a Basingstoke based church;
  • rescuing and walking stray dogs at weekends; and
  • Christmas carol singing.

Our next report will be issued in April 2017 but there is a dedicated CSR page on our web page which is updated regularly.