Burges Salmon named CSR Team of the Year at South West Dealmakers Awards 2021

Firm named as winner in this category for its virtual adaptation and delivery of its ‘Working with Schools’ programme

17 September 2021

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has been named as the winner of the CSR Team of the Year category at the South West Dealmakers Awards 2021, which took place on 15 September 2021.

These awards recognises those firms that are giving back to their communities through their CSR projects, community engagement and pro-bono work. As the Insider South West Dealmakers Awards team puts it:

  • “The judges particularly wanted to give it to Burges Salmon to reflect the levels of CSR work they do across different functions across the whole firm. They said they were a firm very much at the heart of the communities they serve in the South West.”

‘Working with Schools’ Virtual Adaptation

Burges Salmon adapted it’s ‘Working with Schools’ programme throughout the pandemic to support less-advantaged students. The firm provided financial support, deployed volunteers, hosted on-line sessions, created new virtual content, established new collaboration and donated books and IT equipment.

The programme combines in-house activities along with support to community-based organisations to enable a dynamic portfolio of; work experience, career guidance, mock interviews, curriculum enhancement, cv reviews, mentoring, confidence building, skills development, workplace engagements, project work and insight sessions.

The programme is geared towards state school students aged 14 – 18. It seeks to especially enable students from low-income households and with parents that did not attend university. Primary schools are supported with volunteer reading buddies and number partners.

With the pandemic, the programme dovetailed well with the firm’s charitable fundraising theme ‘no child should go hungry’ as issues of food security with low-income families and students in receipt of free school meals, were exacerbated.

The programme had already been recognised as best practice, with endorsement from Business in the Community, which named Burges Salmon a ‘Responsible Business Champion 2020’.

Burges Salmon’s Working with Schools Programme during the first year of the pandemic:

  • Collaborated with 39 community organisations; 
  • Contacted 127 schools with opportunities;
  • Reached 528 students beneficiaries; and
  • Deployed 207 Volunteers.

The firm also established another partnership with a local secondary school. Ms Rhian Apps, 6th Form Careers Lead – St.Mary Redcliff and Temple School says: “We are really excited to form a partnership with Burges Salmon and know that the diverse opportunities and support they offer will enhance our current careers programme and give all students opportunities to develop”.

Student feedback from firm’s Career Insights sessions:

  • 82 per cent rated the session ‘Excellent’ - 18 per cent ‘Good’,
  • 99 per cent deemed the session to have broadened or reinforced choice of career / future study; and
  • 96 per cent would recommend the event.

 “The event was very informative and the hosts were very welcoming. I am definitely considering applying to Burges Salmon and when I have the correct qualification. Thank you for a great time”.

“The Insight session was amazing and I will be sure to mention this in my personal statement when I apply for my Law Degree! I can’t emphasise how grateful I am for allowing me to have the opportunity”.

“The overall Insight session was interesting and made me feel like I really want to be part of Burges Salmon”.

“There was a really great range of speakers from a senior partner to an apprentice, and the friendly culture really came across”.

Kirsty Green-Mann, Burges Salmon’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, concludes: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be named CSR Team of the Year at these awards.

“Having welcomed so many school students to our virtual 2021 Career Insights Sessions and Bright Sparks work experience, our Corporate Responsibility team adapted the events to ensure the students were still able to gain the same insight into and experience of working in the legal sector as if they had been able to attend in person.

“Social mobility is integral to the firm’s community engagement programme and our commitment to the sector-wide collaboration, PRIME, through which we’re helping to drive wider and equal access to the legal profession.”

Key contact

Kirsty Green Mann

Kirsty Green Mann Head of Corporate Responsibility

  • Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Environmental Management and Assessment 
  • Diversity and Inclusion

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