News, Responsible business

What matters to Farrer Kane: being a responsible business

As an agency, we have always believed in doing what we can to support causes that we care about – dedicating our time to pro bono work, like the Free Periods campaign, and donating to charities close to our heart – but this year we’ve begun dedicating further time to think about how we incorporate this ethos into our everyday working lives. We’ve been hard at work scoping out what really matters to us and how we plan to make a difference, starting with creating a team dedicated to pushing ahead with our efforts to reduce our environmental impact, increase our social impact and think about how we do business responsibly. Here are some of the highlights of our work this year…

Pro bono
Our pro bono work has always been an agency strength, and this year we have continued in that vein through our work with Boat of Hope, philanthropist Bernie Hollywood’s fundraising effort to row across the Atlantic in support of children’s mental health; Ginsburg Women’s Health Board, the team working to close the gender health gap; and Support SEND Kids, an organisation working to expand access to education for SEND children; building on our historic record of pro bono clients.

In fact, our team donated over £130,000 in agency time to pro bono work last year. It’s an amazing figure for an agency of our size, and a testament to how pro bono work is a key component in our day-to-day agency life and a way we can support social causes that we care about.

Charitable giving and volunteering
As well as our pro bono work, volunteering is a crucial element of our charitable support. Since we introduced the offer of a volunteering day to all of our team, a quarter of the agency have signed up, using a paid day’s leave to get involved with a charitable activity.

So far, our team have chosen to dedicate their time to causes including local food banks, support with clothing and supplies for families of young children, and continued a longstanding involvement with a charity providing residential holidays to young people with special needs.

We have also been continuing to make regular financial donations to charities, including our annual Christmas donation to Shelter, in place of sending Christmas cards; a sizeable donation to the Ukraine war clothes drive; and our participation in the London Legal Walk, taking the afternoon to walk 10k and, as a result, raising over £750 for charities providing life-changing legal advice and representation to those who would not be able to afford it otherwise.

Further initiatives
Our work with Ginsburg Women’s Health Board has brought to light the changes that we can make within our organisation too. We have now signed up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge – a key step in ensuring that those going through menopause feel more comfortable to discuss this openly in the workplace.

And we have been focusing on employee wellbeing. We’ve expanded our hybrid working model to include flexible finish times alongside our model of blending office and home working, and have taken a Mental Health First Aider training course. We understand that some conversations are hard to have in the workplace and hope the dedicated training will make these conversations more comfortable for all.

Looking ahead
It’s certainly been a busy year – one of the biggest positives has been seeing just how many of the team have been keen to get involved in our efforts around ESG, offering enthusiasm, ideas and time. Looking ahead, it’s this shared sense of purpose that will fuel our agency-wide commitment to making an ever-greater impact in the longer term.

Image: our team out in force for the London Legal Walk, June 2022

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