The firm has a long history of supporting the communities in which we operate. For Irwin Mitchell, being involved with the local community is a natural element of our day to day working life. Whether it’s visiting clients at home, supporting local businesses or working with charitable organisations and institutions, we are in constant contact with the community.
This helps us identify the key social issues we can address through employee volunteering and charitable giving.
Our employees are encouraged to get involved in supporting the local community, whether individually or as part of a team. Our Social Responsibility Board co-ordinates volunteering 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) 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, with over 30% of our employees choosing to donate.
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 of the Year’ - this charity benefits from 12 months of fundraising and any other support that we can provide. Over the years we've helped fantastic charities, many of whom we remain in touch with and continue to support.
Our charities of the year for 2020 are:
Birmingham: Midland Freewheelers
A West Midlands charity which provides around-the-clock deliveries of vital medical products to hospitals throughout the region.
An organisation based in Somerset, which offers mentoring support to disadvantaged young people in the region.
Cambridge: Tom's Trust
A charity dedicated to providing clinical psychology for children with brain tumours throughout the East of England and raising awareness of the biggest cancer killer of children under 15.
Chichester: St Wilfrid's Hospice
A hospice which offers vital support to people across West Sussex, by providing specialist palliative and end-of-life care to the local community.
Gatwick: St Catherine's Hospice
A hospice that works to ensure everyone is able to face death informed, supported and pain-free. This is the third year the office has nominated St. Catherine’s as their Charity of the Year.
Glasgow: Enable Scotland
A charity that campaigns to end discrimination and break down barriers that prevent people with a learning disability living as equal members of society. The charity enables people with learning disability to make connections and be active in their communities.
Leeds: Maggie's Yorkshire
A unique charity providing free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer. The centre at St. James’ Hospital is the 23rd centre in the UK and the 26th overall, testament to Maggie’s belief that people should not “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying.”
London: Whitechapel Mission
An organisation providing support to vulnerable people and those affected by homelessness since 1876, the charity operate a day centre, while providing skills training, career advice and specialist support for those with complex needs.
Manchester: Manchester Central Foodbank
Part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. The Manchester Central Foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people in crisis.
Newbury & Reading: Loose Ends
Run by more than 70 volunteers, the charity runs a drop-in centre which provides food to homeless and vulnerable people in the area. Loose Ends serves an average of 140 meals a week, offering food parcels, clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries to those in need.
A local asbestos support and awareness group based in the North East, Readley offer a holistic approach to asbestos-related disease that encompasses emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing.
Sheffield: The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity
Established in 1976 to help raise vital funds for the hospital, Children now come from all over the UK and the world to benefit from the hospital’s state of the art equipment and unparalleled level of care.
Southampton: Capable Creatures
A user-led non-profit organisation, the charity looks to empower those with mental health conditions and enable them to live a fulfilling life, by helping them access everyday activities through peer support and the use of assistance dogs.
We’ve postponed choosing our Charities of the Year for 2021 so we can show our 2020 charities some extra support while the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact charity fundraising opportunities.
As well as local charities, the IMCF has helped many recognised national charities and disaster relief funds. These include:
Children in Need
Macmillan Coffee Mornings
Operation Christmas Child
Tsunami and Earthquake appeals
At Christmas time, the IMCF also makes a donation to a homeless charity close to each of our offices.
Donating Our Time
Providing our employees with volunteering opportunities is important to the firm, and we are proud that many of our people take part in a wide range of volunteering activities.
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 are able to contribute 14 hours a year to community activity.
In recent years we have had staff giving up their time to help the victims of Grenfell Tower, take part in charity scavenger hunts, improve community allotments and buildings, help good causes move premises as well as occupying patients of Birmingham’s Children Hospital with arts and craft sessions.
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 has links with the Salford Literacy Project, and for over four years staff at our Sheffield office have been giving up their lunch breaks to help local school pupils with literacy and numeracy.
Irwin Mitchell also engages with pupils at other stages of their academic learning, opening students’ eyes to the world of work, diverse opportunities and providing work experience through the government’s PRIME initiative and the Legal Social Mobility Partnership.
“It’s been invaluable in helping groups of students receive additional support which has had a significant impact on their reading ages. This is helping them increase their confidence in accessing more challenging work across the curriculum.”
Chaucer School Assistant Head Teacher, Dave Mountford.
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; it’s part of the culture here. Despite being busy people, our employees make the time for volunteering because seeing first-hand the difference we can make, has made it a top priority for them.”
Kate Rawlings, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Irwin Mitchell.
The PRIME Initiative
Almost all of our offices are now involved in local PRIME programmes. PRIME is a consortium of law firms aiming to improve social mobility in the legal sector.
We’re committed to making sure more people from every walk of life have access to the sector, and are aware of the opportunities open to them. Through this scheme, we provide work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds.
For more information, please visit the
PRIME website. Legal Social Mobility Partnership
As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we’re proud to be one of 70 law firms, blue chip companies and professional sports teams who make up the volunteer-led Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP).
In May 2017 the LSMP was named Diversity Scheme of the Year 2017 at the Solicitor’s Journal Awards.
The Partnership is committed to providing easier access to the solicitor profession. It achieves this by delivering high quality work experience placements, skills training and alumni support to school pupils who would not otherwise have access to the industry.
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