Colleagues Deliver Vital Support, Despite Challenges Of The COVID Crisis
Charities throughout the country have continued to benefit from the fundraising activities of staff at a national law firm, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.
Just under £250,000 has been raised by Irwin Mitchell and its employees as a result of their virtual fundraising efforts over the past year.
The money donated via the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF) will support the firm’s 13 Charities of the Year, and a range of good causes which support the homeless and front line COVID-19 relief efforts across the country.
The latest donations mean that the IMCF has now donated over £2.7 million to good causes since being established as an independent charity in 1997.
The majority of the firm’s 3000 colleagues have worked from home since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, which means their usual fundraising activities (including bake sales, balls and sporting events) used to raise vital funds have been put on hold.
Despite the challenge colleagues used their creativity to come up with a host of online fundraising initiatives including running races in back gardens, hosting online quizzes, paying to dress up rather than down on Fridays and team active challenges. Some colleagues even donated the money saved on commuting to their office’s Charity of the Year.
Thanks to donations by colleagues and Irwin Mitchell, over £155,000 is being donated to the13 Charities of the Year, via the IMCF.
Earlier in 2020, recognising the unprecedented impact of coronavirus, the firm donated an additional £100,000 to charities directly involved in supporting the COVID relief effort and homeless charities near each of its offices.
Irwin Mitchell employees in the firm’s offices nominate a charity or good cause they wish to support throughout the year as part of the IMCF Charity of the Year programme. Instead of announcing new charities for 2021, the firm is extending support for the good causes chosen in 2020, in recognition of the struggle many still face as a result of the current lockdown.
News of the firm’s fundraising efforts follows research done by Irwin Mitchell with homeless and foodbank charities last year, which revealed that many expect to see a higher demand for their services this year, while being impacted by reduced financial support. In addition, 14% of charities said in November they felt they were unlikely to still be operating by the end of 2021.
Expert Opinion“The impact of the pandemic in the last 12 months has been unprecedented in so many ways. Having seen first-hand the impact of coronavirus on our clients, colleagues and communities, we have done what we can to help.
“To protect the wellbeing of colleagues as we all adjusted to COVID and new ways of working, we were forced to scale back much of our normal fundraising activity, so to be able to have donated around £250,000 is a major achievement in the circumstances. I want to pay tribute to all my amazing colleagues, who came up with creative ways to fundraise, despite lockdown restrictions.
“The pandemic has proved a major challenge for everyone, impacting on the personal circumstances of colleagues outside of work, and the most vulnerable in our local communities and the many charitable organisations who support them. Given the impact of the Coronavirus, we provided immediate donations to frontline charities who needed it last year, while many staff pitched in delivering medicines and supplies.
“During a time when the lives of friends and family were uppermost in people’s minds, this level of fundraising and support is an incredible achievement, and testament to the passion colleagues have for making a real difference in our communities and something they can be very proud of.
“We have taken our experiences of the pandemic and our charity research last year in developing our long-term responsible business programme. This will be vital in informing how we evolve our fundraising and community engagement to find the most effective ways of supporting people and charitable organisations as they face the challenges of the future.” Adrian Budgen - Partner