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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.

In addition to local charities, the IMCF has helped many recognised national charities and disaster relief funds. These include:

  • Children in Need
  • Comic Relief
  • Macmillan Coffee Mornings
  • Oxfam Unwrapped
  • 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 13 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.

Education

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.

Team Challenges

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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