17 December 2021

This article was written by Eleanor Woodhouse

In my second year of the legal apprenticeship, I co-led a charity project for the firm with one other business apprentice, Gemma Ferris, in support of the firm’s commitment to our charity theme of the year ‘No Child Goes Hungry’.

Gemma and I worked closely with the other apprentices in the firm, and their help was invaluable in pushing this project through from inception to completion.

Many of the charitable theme plans for 2020 were unfortunately unable to take place due to the pandemic. Therefore, when a Charity Cookbook project was first mentioned, I was delighted to get involved.

Overview of the project

This project first started in July and finished in December, with all books posted to everyone in time for Christmas. It was managed entirely whilst working from home.

In those six months, we received over 250 recipes from people in the firm, contacted most of the businesses and charities in the local area, had over 50 project management calls, and worked with over 20 departments in the firm.

Charities, businesses and people from the firm contributed their most loved family recipes, without which there would be no book.

This project was a real collaborative effort within the firm, which Gemma and I were thrilled to lead and co-ordinate.

Apprentice roles in the project

As well as leading the project itself, I helped to promote the cookbook, collate content, recipes and contact external companies and charities. Gemma also promoted the cookbook and the cook-along, contacted charities, led meetings for the project team and managed the financial aspects of this project.

Lauren Brenton, Gareth Parfitt, Joanna Rogers, Sophie Clink and Nicole Marks, were part of the wider apprentice group involved in this project. We all worked together and they made a huge contribution to this project.

With such a fast-moving, large-scale project, effective communication and collaboration between the apprentices, departments and charities was key.

Overall, my biggest learning point from this has been project management from start to finish and time management. Finding a balance, between calls, meetings, chargeable work, investment time, training, university study commitments, adjusting to working from home and leading this project has been a fantastic learning experience, and is a good example of the extra-curricular opportunities available to apprentices in the firm.

Final reflections

Although we were all geographically further apart due to the pandemic, this project has been an excellent way of keeping people in the firm connected whilst helping to raise much needed funds to tackle the issue of child hunger.

The Charity Cookbook project has been a fantastic way of embracing the fundraising challenges that have been presented as a result of COVID-19 and is testament to our driven, collaborative and inclusive culture at the firm.

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