22 December 2021
It's a wrap - a round up of some of the incredible causes and campaigns we have supported in 2021
As the end of year approaches, we are taking a moment to reflect on some of the amazing organisations and inspiring people we have had the privilege to support this year. Each one of these groups is working hard to achieve real, positive change - whether by improving support for young people around mental health issues, making healthcare fairer or giving the families of children with special educational needs the right support.
Back in 2020, seeing the devastating impact national lockdowns were having on young people's mental health, social entrepreneur and adventurer Bernie Hollywood OBE decided he wanted to make a difference. His response: to take on the daunting challenge of a solo row of up to 90 days across the Atlantic Ocean in support of Samaritans and the British Rowing Charitable Foundation, Love Rowing.
With the backing of his corporate sponsor and Farrer Kane client ParentPay, Bernie pulled together an amazing team to help with bringing his campaign to life: including artist Justin Eagleton, musician Ben Hughes, author Natalie Reeves-Billing, digital creative Vikki Stephenson, and video specialists Karen Milligan and the team at Millk Media.
The team launched an ambitious awareness and fundraising campaign that has already seen a national schools art competition for contributions to the bespoke boat mural and launch events in London and Liverpool. It's been an absolute delight to be involved in the Boat of Hope campaign - from supporting on social and media relations, to working with the talented array of partners involved with the project - and there is so much more to come. Watch this space as the Boat of Hope campaign gathers pace, building to the start of Bernie's epic voyage in December 2022.
Ginsburg Women's Health Board: creating more efficient healthcare for women
Research shows that though women in the UK have a higher life expectancy than men, on average women can expect to spend less time free from long-term illness or disability compared to men - this is especially true for women who live below the poverty line. Named for feminist pioneer and US Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Ginsburg Women's Health Board was set up in early 2021 by Mika Simmons and Nimco Ali OBE. Their ambition: to eliminate the gender health gap in the NHS. Fertility specialist Dr Geeta Nargund supports the GWHB providing medical expertise. Thanks to our longstanding relationship with Geeta, we have been lucky enough to get involved with Ginsburg's work.
We are proud to have helped to help light a fire under the GWHB's #freeHRT campaign, with media outreach and social media support, especially to Mika as she rallied celebrities to spread the word. In recent weeks a private members bill to make HRT free for all women in England (in line with Wales and Scotland) by MP Carolyn Harris has seen the Government now agree to reduce the cost of coping with menopause symptoms - allowing women to pay for just one prescription over the year - a saving of some £200.
Getting the right education for every child should be fair, consistent and easy. Too often this is not the case for children with recognised special educational needs - this is a situation that has only been made worse by the pandemic. The charity Support SEND Kids was founded by founded by three lawyers Janvi Patel, Rachel Amos and Denise Nurse in 2020. They set out to create a safe space for SEND families to find information from healthcare professionals, other SEND charities and the legal profession. We became involved thanks to our previous work with Janvi - we were excited to help with this much-needed initiative, and so proud that our work around raising the profile of SSK in legal and education press has had a direct impact in terms of drawing new members to its new online platform.
This is just a flavour of the causes we have supported pro-bono this year - alongside these campaigns, we have lent our time and expertise to support the North London Food Bank - helping them develop ideas for extending their volunteer network and attract more donors. And we've recently introduced a scheme giving every member of the team the option to dedicate one working day during the year to supporting a cause of their choice. Playing our part in the communities that our local to us here in London, and adjacent to the work of many of our clients is important to us, and a genuine pleasure too.