At Michelmores, charity work is an important part of what we do and, as a trainee, it has been an invaluable experience to be able to get involved, help a great cause and meet a variety of people.
Each of our offices nominate their own charity to partner with, so the charities chosen are often local and make a positive difference in the community in which our offices reside. We partner with our chosen charities for two years in order to make the maximum possible impact. This two-year period allows people to become familiar with the charity’s work and get to see the positive outcomes and benefits their generous donations and efforts can have.
I am based in the Exeter Office and our charity of the year is The Amber Foundation. Amber is a small, independent charity that helps homeless young people in crisis to positively turn their lives around. They offer a temporary, safe place to live at one of their three residential centres where they provide support, structure, new experiences and training to motivate, build self-discipline and develop skills.
Raising money is one way in which we can help. However, volunteering is a big part of our partnership with our chosen charities. Each year, every Michelmores employee is offered a day off to allow time for volunteering or charity fundraising.
Each charity has its own needs and can offer different volunteering opportunities. This year, teams from Michelmores have built a polytunnel so that Amber residents can grow their own food, will be painting residents’ rooms and running interview and presentation skills workshops for residents looking to secure employment.
I used my volunteering day in July to complete a skydive from 15,000 feet for Amber – a great cause to jump out of a plane for! A team from Michelmores took part, from trainees to Partners, which was a fun way to get to know colleagues from different departments outside of the office environment.
As a trainee, I was given the opportunity to join the Charity of the Year Committee, which has the unenviable task of selecting a charity every two years for the Firm to support, out of many incredible applicants. Being a part of the Committee has allowed me to get involved in organising events throughout the year, from seasonal bake sales to watching Wimbledon with Pimms and afternoon tea (which this year some vacation scheme students were lucky enough to attend). For trainees, these events are a great way to get to know others in the Firm who you may not have had a chance to work with previously and raise money for a good cause.
With trainees spread across different departments and offices, charity events are often a chance for us to work together, and it is tradition for the trainees to organise some of these events. For example, all the first year trainees are tasked with organising the annual Michelmores Christmas Bazaar, which takes place in the conservatory of our Exeter office. Last year we had over 15 stalls selling a range of lovely items, from jewellery to sculptures.
One event on the induction timetable for trainees (and don’t worry, you can marshal if running is not your forte!) is the annual Michelmores 5K Run. This event is well-known in Exeter and attracts over 1,100 runners each year. The Run has raised over £300,000 since it began.
I also attended our recent charity mixed netball tournament with teams from a range of local businesses and law firms. These external events enable you to get to know the businesses in the community and start to build a network.
This August, three teams from Michelmores, organised by one of our trainees, are training hard to compete in Tough Mudder! If you wish to donate to our latest adventure for Amber, please use the following link. Thank you!