03 December 2015

Burges Salmon has appointed south west charity Julian House as its Charity of the Year 2016.

Burges Salmon's Charity Committee receives many requests for help from both local and national charities all year round. However, for many years now the firm has chosen to support a Charity of the Year instead, so that the donations and funds raised can make a real difference. The firm’s people nominate their preferred charity and then vote from a final shortlist, which this year was whittled down to a list of five.

Julian House operates more than 20 different projects, accommodation sites and social enterprises in Bath, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Devon. These include: a range of homeless services, support for those suffering domestic violence, addiction recovery support – as well as work experience and training. In total Julian House manages 106 bed spaces for clients with a wide spectrum of needs.

The charity’s vision is a just society where socially excluded people are supported and empowered to build sustainable, independent lives.

Unemployment is a significant feature for people with experiences of addiction, homelessness and/or a history of offending. There is clear evidence that employment can be the major contributing factor in helping individuals to transform their lives for the better. However, achieving this goal can present real challenges.

Against this backdrop Julian House launched its first social enterprise in 2010, Bath Bike Workshop – offering practical work experience and training. Since then other workshops have opened in Bristol and Trowbridge. Aspire, a property maintenance social enterprise in the Barton Hill are of Bristol, joined Julian House in 2014 – also offering a pathway out of deprivation and social exclusion for some of the most marginalised members of society.

Fund-raising activities for Julian House are already underway at Burges Salmon, with a team from the firm donating its winning prize from the Bristol + Bath Marathon. In December, the firm will hold a Christmas Market/Fair and subsequently run a variety of additional fundraising events throughout 2016 including a Come Dine With Me type event in the Spring, a Bake Off, a ‘Dress Up’ Day, an Olympic event and a ‘Strictly’ dance event in Christmas 2016. The firm will also organise a range of volunteering opportunities for its people to get involved with the charity throughout the year.

Chair of Burges Salmon’s Charity of the Year Committee, Will Woodall, said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce Julian House as our Charity of the Year for 2016. It is a fantastic local charity offering direct support to the homeless. The charity offers food and shelter and has also developed projects and services that address not only the symptoms of homelessness but also the underlying reasons why men and women are forced onto the streets.”

Peter Denning is the charity’s Chief Executive: “Like most good causes, raising funds is an ongoing issue. In the case of homelessness we face an additional challenge – increasing awareness of some of the key issues that impact upon it. For this reason the charity works hard to explain that being on the streets is not a lifestyle of choice. There is a huge difference between getting used to living there and wanting to be there. The tragic truth is that for the long term street homeless average life expectancy is just 47 years. The support of Burges Salmon and its staff is going to give a terrific boost to our work on all fronts.”

Key contact

Will Woodall

Will Woodall Partner

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