Leading law firm Stephensons Solicitors LLP and children’s charity, Barnardo’s, have agreed to create a unique voluntary partnership, aimed at sharing best practice and delivering messages on key issues.
Both organisations identified synergies in their work with vulnerable people in the community. Both provide help and advice to people who are homeless, domestic abuse victims, the elderly and children in care.
With this in mind, Stephensons and Barnardo’s will work together on specific combined initiatives to provide a combined service to benefit those in need. The partnership has a shared vision, to ‘provide services which improve the lives of individuals including some of the most vulnerable people in society’.
A range of initiatives have already been implemented to portray this shared vision. Most recently, a domestic abuse conference was delivered to more than 200 professionals in the field. This training event included speakers from Barnardo’s, Greater Manchester Police, The Freedom Project, and a domestic abuse survivor.
Earlier this year, a team from Stephensons rolled up their sleeves to take part in a ‘changing room’ challenge for Barnardo’s North West Homelessness project in Bury.
The team transformed an office at Rachel House in Bury into a communal room which will be used by the young people who stay there. The 16-21 year olds who live at Rachel House are homeless, and the project not only provides accommodation but also teaches them skills which will help them to move on to independent living.
The organisations began their relationship when Barnardo’s approached Stephensons to take part in the charity’s Free Will Scheme, which enables the over 55s to make a Will for free, in the hope they may leave a gift to the charity in their Will. Stephensons has taken part in the scheme for the last three years, generating free Wills for hundreds of people. Many have chosen to remember Barnardo’s in their Will.
Ann Harrison, Stephensons’ chairwoman, said: “Our relationship with Barnardo’s evolved from the Free Will Scheme which had a positive impact on the communities we operate in.
“We wanted to build on that relationship further, motivated by a belief that we have strategic objectives that mirror each other. Our values, beliefs and the culture of our organisations represent a good overall fit.”
Paul Wilcox, assistant director of children’s services at Barnardo’s, said: “Working with Stephensons enables us to gain insight into the organisational structure of a private sector company and likewise Stephensons will benefit from observing our working practices.
“As well as working together to raise awareness of specific issues which directly affect our communities, from an organisational point of view we are sharing best practice on communication strategies, mentoring schemes and staff motivation.
“We are already seeing the benefits of the first steps in our journey together. By working together, we aim to develop innovative ways of providing the best service for the most vulnerable even in straightened times.”
Notes to editors
- Stephensons is one of the largest regional law firms in the North West, with almost 400 staff across a network of eight regional offices in Altrincham, Bolton, Leigh, Manchester, St Helens and Wigan. The firm provides legal services to individuals and businesses and believes in providing access to justice for all parts of the community.
- Barnardo’s works with more than 100,000 children, young people and their families in 415 specialised projects in communities across the UK. We believe in the potential of every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. We will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each and every child. Every year we help thousands of children turn their lives around. But we cannot do it without you. Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.
Media information: Lianne Tracey
Stephensons Solicitors LLP
T: 01616 966 229