Our Responsible Business Roundup
As people across the world are united in their fight against the coronavirus, we’re sharing the top stories and useful resources from across our business over the past week to help inspire and encourage kindness, inclusion and unity during these uncertain times.
You can read all of our updates on the News and Insights pages of our website.
Supporting our colleagues
Dealing with isolation
This week the HR team, who’ve been trained by Mental Health First Aid England, have been supporting colleagues battling with feelings of isolation.
With the country in lockdown, many people who used to enjoy the hustle and bustle of working in a busy office are now finding themselves feeling increasingly isolated as they adhere to social distancing rules.
Being suddenly cut off from society can have a big impact on our mental and physical health, so it’s more important than ever to look after ourselves and support the people we work with.
We’ve made our advice for colleagues available for other organisations to use.
Last week we made the factsheet on Managing Anxiety and Worrying Thoughts that we’d made available on our website. Our Chief People Officer, Susana Berlevy also discussed the advice on the first of our first webinars.
Next week we’ll be discussing how people cope with change with the experts from Waverley Learning.
Register for the webinar, which takes place at 11am on Thursday 9 April.
Keeping children entertained over Easter
The Easter holidays, will seem different this year with schools closing their doors a few weeks early. With limited time outside of the home and many parents still working, keeping our little people happy, healthy, and occupied can be a real challenge. Our colleagues from around the country have shared their own tips for keeping children entertained during this difficult time:
- Book in regular virtual playdates with their friends via Zoom, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger Kids
- Set up a ‘retreat space’ for your kids. It will help them identify a place where they can go to take comfort when they are feeling stressed. Together, you can make it cosy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags and tents
- Get creative. Using art such as painting, sculpting, singing and dancing can be very therapeutic and a very effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate. Many people are painting rainbows and sticking them on their windows to encourage people to stay positive.
- Give them a few chores. You’d be surprised at how much kids actually enjoy chores/jobs, it can help them to feel part of the house team
- YouTube has some great kids yoga and exercise videos for you to stay fit together
- Create a treat chart where everyday a different member of the household comes up with a treat that the whole family can enjoy. For example baking cookies, a board game or watching a film.
During such unusual circumstances like these, it’s more important than ever for us to communicate with each other and our children. All children react differently. Some might act out rather because they are unable to express their emotions. Make time and offer them lots of love and reassurance, and make sure you observe them closely with lots of listening. And remember, play is helpful for children — it’s how they process their world and learn to problem solve. The charity, Save the Children has more ideas.
Legal Cheek’s work-life balance award
During difficult times like these successes are important to celebrate so we were thrilled to find out we’d been recognised for our culture when it comes to work-life balance at Legal Cheek Awards. Legal Cheek is well-known for providing news and insights on the legal sector and the website’s annual awards celebrate the top trainee-rated firms and chambers of 2020. The shortlists in each category were produced from the annual Legal Cheek survey of over 2,000 Trainee and Junior Lawyers, making the awards a unique insight into the performance of firms, as viewed by their newest recruits.
Supporting our Communities
Sending treats and supplies to our key workers
While it may seem like a drop in the ocean we want to celebrate the many small acts of kindness taking place to support the key workers who are keeping the country going during the coronavirus crisis.
With keeping our hands clean being an essential weapon in the war against coronavirus hand sanitiser is in high demand. As shops continue to run low on stock, some of our colleagues decided to help out by donating small bottles of our branded sanitiser to a number of police forces. Officers from the Northumbria, North Yorkshire and Cumbria Roads policing teams were among those in receipt of the bottles, which they will use on their patrols, and they took to social media to express their appreciation for the donations.
Our team also donated hand sanitiser, which would have been given away at our events which have now been cancelled, to children’s charity Brainwave, who kindly passed 42 bottles on to their local NHS GP surgery in North Petherton. The staff were over the moon to receive them.
Our Chichester office’s Charity of the Year, St Wilfrid’s Hospice were over the moon with the community sprit shown to them by our colleagues, when they received a bucket load of sweet treats and soft drinks for staff to enjoy over their lunch time.
And, as the country went into lockdown, Danni Bourne, a colleague in our Gatwick office, ensured that all food in the office vending machine that was going to go out of date before June was donated to NHS staff at Crawley Hospital.
Finally, after seeing a teacher post on social media that her school were giving away protective eye goggles used for science classes Laura Nesbitt, also from our Gatwick office, quickly put the school in touch with St Catherine’s Hospice. The hospice, which has been the office’s Charity of the Year for the past three years, received the school’s entire stock of wrap around protective eyewear now the children cannot use them.
Thanks to all of our team who are thinking of our local charities and community.
Trans Day of Visibility
Last Tuesday our colleagues marked International Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV) in support of trans people across the globe and in celebration of the diverse mix of gender identities and expression in our communities. TDoV is a time to focus on empowerment and giving trans people the recognition they rightly deserve. Colleagues were invited to read case studies from a variety of trans people, we shared our guidance for supporting people who are transitioning in the workplace and our trans allies graphics.
The word ‘trans’ is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression is different to the sex they were registered with at birth. You can learn more about being trans and how to be a good trans ally on the LGBT charity, Stonewall’s website.
Fighting climate change and protecting our communities
Back in January we invited our colleagues, clients and communities to send in unwanted Christmas cards to any one of our offices to be recycled through our suppliers Red-Inc. They’ve now counted all the cards and revealed that we managed to collect 13,299, a staggering 4,482 more than last year.
This incredible amount means that 133 trees will be planted in the Caledonian forest in Scotland and 133 acres of vulnerable Amazonian rainforest in Peru will be protected via the Rainforest Trust.
Supporting our clients
Helping to start a family
Despite the lockdown, our work to help a woman who was left infertile when her cervical cancer was spotted more than four years after her initial smear test, successfully concluded with the Supreme Court ruling she is entitled to funds to pay for surrogacy in the USA.
Supporting workers who’ve been laid off during COVID-19
We’re supporting a new digital initiative which will help workers who have been laid off and furloughed as a result of coronavirus to be quickly rehired when circumstances improve.
The Rehire Project lets organisations support their workers by communicating with them via the platform - offering advice and status updates to keep them informed on company progress and rehiring prospects.
The service is free for smaller businesses, charities and the public sector. Larger organisations pay a nominal fee to help support the service with profits from this initiative during the current crisis being donated to the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal and the World Health Organisation.
We also produced advice for workers who have been furloughed, which you can find on our website and share with anyone who may find it useful.
That’s all for this week – thanks for reading.