Law Firm Wins Award For Helping Bristol School Students Prepare For The Future

Irwin Mitchell Team Up With Ablaze To Support Pupils At Orchard School


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Law firm Irwin Mitchell has won an award for helping pupils in a deprived area of Bristol prepare for life after they leave school.

Last week the firm won the Ablaze award for Outstanding Business Contribution to a School, after taking part in a yearlong project which saw five solicitors run mentoring sessions to help students at Orchard School prepare for the future.

Along with pupils from the school, personal injury solicitor Eleri Davies, based in Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office, was at the Ablaze ceremony held at the M Shed museum, to receive the award given out by Lord Lieutenant Mary Prior, on Tuesday 21 June. 

Eleri said: “The pupils responded really well to us and all of the mentors would like to wish them all the very best for their futures.”

The awards were held by the Bristol based charity to help celebrate the work they do with local businesses and volunteers to raise aspiration and improve skill levels of thousands of young people in the region by delivering support in schools.

The five-strong team from Irwin Mitchell ran six sessions over the academic year to offer support and advice to a group of 16 girls at the school in Horfield, by partnering with local charity Ablaze.

The sessions focussed on various employability skills including CV writing, mock interviews and telephone skills. The mentors also shared their own personal experiences of obtaining work experience, applying for jobs and choosing their own career paths.  

Georgina Ife, Personal Injury solicitor based in Irwin Mitchell Bristol, who co-ordinated the programme with Ablaze, said: “This is the third year that Irwin Mitchell has been involved with Ablaze projects in Bristol. It is a wonderful charity to be involved with and it was a real honour to be able to help nurture and offer advice to our group of students from Orchard School.

“All of the students responded to us really well and were a delight to work with. It was fantastic to see them so engaged in the sessions and we have high hopes for them all going forwards.’

Work Experience and Post 16 Coordinator at Orchard School, Hayley Galpin said: “The pupils have benefited hugely from this experience. The Irwin Mitchell solicitors were fantastic at making the girls feel at ease through sharing their own personal experiences and showing the girls that the sky is the limit. This has raised both their aspirations and self-belief that anything is possible for them.

“The girls went above and beyond to support our students and they really understood and embraced the diversity of students we have within our school community. As a school we are excited and looking forward to working with Irwin Mitchell again in the future.'

Amanda Cranston, Secondary Schools Partnership Manager at Ablaze said “Not only did the mentoring provide the students with a better idea of the employability skills they will need it also demonstrably increased their confidence and encouraged them to engage with a wide range of aspirations and educational and life-style possibilities for the future.

“The Ablaze programmes are valued in schools across Bristol as they draw on the extensive expertise of business volunteers who share their knowledge, skills and experience for the benefit of young people and provide strong, positive role models for the students to identify with.”