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Cambridge Art Charity Set To Benefit From Local Lawyers’ Fundraising Initiative

Rowan Nominated To Be Irwin Mitchell’s Charity Of The Year


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

A Cambridge charity which runs art classes for people with learning disabilities is set to benefit after staff at the local office of Irwin Mitchell nominated it to be their Charity of the Year for 2018.

The national law firm’s initiative sees staff across each of its offices hold a range of events throughout the year to raise funds for local causes which have been selected through a vote. The programme is part of the work of the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation, an independent charity which last year celebrated its 20th anniversary and has raised more than £1.6 million for charities in the UK and abroad.

This year, the Cambridge office of Irwin Mitchell has voted to support Rowan, an organisation which supports people with learning disabilities by running art and craft classes designed to stimulate and help them develop their social skills.

Neil Whiteley, Regional Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office, said: 

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“The Charity of the Year initiative has been a fundamental part of our efforts to actively support the local communities where we are based for many years and we are proud to have helped a number of incredible causes along the way.

“Rowan is a fantastic charity that we have had connections with since first opening in Cambridge and we are already hard at work planning out the range of events which will be held across the year to raise funds to support the incredible work it does.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner

Jimmy’s Shelter, MAGPAS and the STARS bereavement counselling service are among the previous organisations supported by Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office, but this year it is the turn of Rowan.

As well as running classes and music and performance workshops, the organisation is actively involved in a range of community events and art activities. The charity is currently raising funds for new equipment for its drama group, as well as for a new scheme which will offer bursaries to students who need additional support. It also has plans to improve its IT equipment.

Rowan, who rely largely on donations, have helped people like Emma who has a learning disability. 

Emma joined Rowan as a student in 2006 and since then has developed new skills, met new friends and built on her confidence through the studios. She said: “I enjoy ceramics, music and drama. In music I am learning how to play the ukulele.”
In the summer Emma was involved in the drama performance at Covent Garden, Cambridge of ‘Up to the sky is where I want to dream’. The students worked together to create the performance and it made Emma feel good to be involved in it. She added: “I feel like I am at home at Rowan and I enjoy being with my friends.”

Bridget Orchard, development manager at Rowan, said: “We are thrilled that Rowan has been chosen by Irwin Mitchell as their charity of the year in 2018. 

“Their generosity will help our extraordinary students and artists – all of whom have learning disabilities – not just to survive, but to thrive with passion, compassion, wit and style.”