The firm has a long history of supporting the communities in which we operate. For Irwin Mitchell, being involved with the local community is something that is a natural element of our day to day working life. Whether it is visiting clients at home, supporting local businesses or working with local charitable organisations or institutions, we are in constant dialogue with the community and it is this close link that has enabled us to identify some of the key social issues that we address via our employee volunteering and charitable giving.
Where opportunities arise, employees are encouraged to get involved in supporting their community, whether it is on an individual basis or as part of a larger team. Whilst many employees are actively involved in managing community activity in each of our offices, Partner Adrian Budgen coordinates Irwin Mitchell’s community activity across the firm.
Overall, our aims are to:
- Support the development of the people and places within our communities to help them reach their full potential
- Provide support in cases of need, hardship or distress for the general benefit of the regions surrounding our offices
- Provide support to vulnerable groups within our community
The Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation
The Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF) is an independent, registered charity that was set up in February 1997 by the partners and employees of Irwin Mitchell. Each year the foundation receives a lump sum donation from the partners and regular contributions from employees via the Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme. This form of charitable giving is popular within Irwin Mitchell, which is highlighted by the fact that we’re one of the top 10 contributors to the scheme in the UK with 28% of our employees donating. We also hold a gold certification for our commitment to GAYE.
The IMCF is run by both trustees and a local committee in each office but all employees have the ability to request donations for their charities of choice on a monthly basis. In addition, each office nominates a local charity to be named ‘Charity of the year’ - this charity benefits from 12 months of fundraising and any other support that we can provide. Over the years we've supported many fantastic charities, many of whom we remain in touch with and continue to help in various ways.
In addition to supporting local charities, the IMCF has helped many of the recognised national charities and natural disasters over the years such as Children in Need, Comic Relief, Macmillan coffee mornings, Oxfam Unwrapped, tsunami and earthquake appeals, Operation Christmas Child and many of the national cancer charities to name a few.
Donating Our Time
Providing our employees with volunteering opportunities is important to the firm and we are proud that many of our employees take part in a wide range of volunteering activities around the country.
To ensure that all Irwin Mitchell staff are able to offer their time to support a project in their local area, the firm introduced a Volunteer Policy in 2010. This means that all staff from any area of the business across all offices are able to contribute 14 hours per year to community activity facilitated by the firm. The firm also introduced an internal Volunteer Centre which enables staff to locate information on up and coming opportunities to engage in community challenges, projects or pro bono activity easily.
We feel that it is important to give every child the opportunity to fulfil their potential and as a result, the firm supports a number of educational programmes aimed at raising attainment in key skills such as literacy and numeracy. As potential Irwin Mitchell employees of the future, we believe that supporting those in education is crucial.
In a number of our offices employees spend time in schools, supporting pupils who need extra support with their reading. For example, our Manchester office links in with the Salford Literacy Project and our Sheffield office is the largest supporter of Business in the Community's (BITC) Right to Read programme in South Yorkshire.
Irwin Mitchell also engages with pupils at other stages of their academic career, opening students’ eyes to the world of work, diverse opportunities and providing work experience via Business Class with BITC and the government’s PRIME initiative.
"Irwin Mitchell has been an active supporter of BITC's South Yorkshire Cares for a number of years. During this time they have supported four Sheffield schools supplying reading volunteers on a weekly basis.
"This has had a fantastic impact on the children involved in terms of increased literacy levels, communications, skills, confidence and self esteem." - Business In The Community
Many hands make light work – and in the case of team challenges, Irwin Mitchell volunteers often join forces with their colleagues or even other local businesses to make a positive impact in their community.
Team challenges can include anything from painting a classroom to creating sensory gardens – the opportunities are endless!
"One of the reasons I came to work at Irwin Mitchell was because of its reputation for giving back to the community and being involved in community based projects. Having had the opportunity to get involved with local initiatives, I have experienced, first-hand, the difference that we can make to a community.
"It's great to work in a firm that actively encourages staff to get involved." - Georgina Sheldon, Solicitor