This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.
International law firm Olswang and carers charity Carers Trust have won 'Charity Partner – Legal' at the 2016 Business Charity Awards for its two-year charity partnership, which has sought to raise the profile of unpaid carers throughout the UK. The awards are put on by Third Sector, the UK's leading publication for happenings in the voluntary and not-for-profit sector.
Olswang selected Carers Trust to be its charity partner in 2014. Since then, the firm has offered its staff volunteering opportunities with Carers Trust, provided pro bono legal advice and set a fundraising target of £100,000. Individual and firm-wide fundraising initiatives have included a 375km cycle ride between Olswang's Brussels and Paris offices, a concert, a charity auction and several other events.
Olswang's Head of Corporate Responsibility Linda Zell commented: "We are absolutely delighted that our partnership with Carers Trust has been recognised for its impact and success. Our alliance has involved the entire firm and is a real testament to a huge team effort and genuine partnership with Carers Trust. Through our collaboration over the past two years, we have made real inroads toward raising awareness of this important charity and shedding light on the startling number of unpaid carers in the UK. We hope that our partnership and the funds raised through it will go a long way to help Carers Trust's many projects and allow it to carry on its great work in the years to come."
The firm has raised more than £80,000 in donations and is expected to reach the £100,000 target in May, which will allow Carers Trust to support 287 carers. The charity's own research shows this investment could save the economy more than £4.8m. Olswang's support has allowed the trust to continue several vital projects, including a grants programme to give carers breaks. Through the partnership, the firm has also provided substantial pro-bono legal advice and saved the charity £15,000 in meeting room costs. Employees spent nearly 300 hours volunteering and fundraising for the charity during year one alone.
Sarah Walsh, Senior Corporate Fundraising Manager at Carers Trust, said: “This partnership has been outstanding from the outset. The money raised by Olswang’s employees has made an incredible difference to the work we do to help unpaid carers and, from that point of view, the partnership has been fantastic. But what has really made this partnership special for us is that the firm has helped us to save our vital resources, by providing pro bono support and free meeting rooms and training to ensure that more of the money we raise can go directly on benefiting carers. We’re thrilled that this partnership and the amazing contribution made by everyone at Olswang over the past two years has been recognised through this award.”
Olswang's award-winning Corporate Responsibility team has a track record of championing many other issues that support education, employment, diversity, social mobility and environmental sustainability initiatives in the communities in which it works and serves around the world.
Learn more about the firm's CR initiatives in Olswang's 2016/17 CR report at www.wearecr.com.