Volunteering and fundraising allow us to give something back to the community. From well-established partnerships to new initiatives, we are involved with a number of schemes in our local community of Southwark and nearby boroughs.
- Our reading group pays weekly visits to Riverside Primary School in Bermondsey to read with a class of 10-11 year olds. We also have a team of volunteers who visit Notre Dame School every month to mentor Year 9 students in various subject areas.
- As part of our commitment to giving opportunities to the brightest individuals regardless of their background, we work with the Social Mobility Foundations Aspiring Professionals Programme. The programme offers career guidance, work placements and mentoring opportunities to high-achieving 'A’ Level students from low-income backgrounds.
- For the past two years, we have also hosted Working in the City workshops with The Brokerage organisation who work with local schools and colleges to enable City firms to engage with students from 14-18 years old with a view to raising their future career aspirations.
- As part of our commitment to the PRIME initiative, each summer we provide a week’s work experience to 6th form students from less advantaged backgrounds.
- Each year Bristows raises money for charity through sporting, cultural and fun events. Betweenthe firm supported secondary breast cancer charity Secondary1st, and raised in excess of £25,000. The firm’s current charity of the year is Mind.
We advise several organisations free of charge, including charitable and public bodies. Recent examples of our Pro Bono work include:
- Advising Virtual Development UK, a UK charity running the Virtual Doctor project in Zambia, on data protection, regulatory and negligence issues. The project uses local mobile phone networks to connect local clinic staff with doctors in the developed world to provide diagnostic and treatment advice free of charge, including for illnesses such as Aids and malaria.
- Advising the Royal Theatrical Support Trust, whose trustees include Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench, on its governance and on initiatives to support regional theatre.
- Advising Optometry Giving Sight, a global fundraising initiative that targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision, on privacy and data protection issues.
- Advising Amnesty International on data protection compliance issues. This included considering when various processing conditions and exceptions might apply to Amnesty International’s use of personal information about individuals that have contacted Amnesty International.
Bristows is also a legal partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID). This is an independent organisation that helps law firms to provide pro bono legal advice and assistance to charities, governments and development non-governmental organisations working towards the UN Millennium Development Goals.
We are always looking for new ways to contribute positively to our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. Our initiatives include:
- Taking part in the TFL Cycle Challenge to encourage a reduction in the carbon impact of our journey to work and to raise environmental awareness. The Bristows Bikers team covered a total of 2,949 miles, which is 1.34 times the distance of the Tour de France and equates to a saving of 1.4745 tonnes of carbon. Bristows also champions eco-friendly commuting by offering all staff the opportunity to buy a bike, tax free, through a cycle to work scheme.
- Being a member of the Legal Sector Alliance. The LSA is a group of law firms and organisations interested in working collaboratively to take action on climate change by adopting and encouraging environmentally sustainable practices.
- Sponsoring a beehive! As an environmentally aware firm, which employs many scientists, we are aware of the current decline in the bee population and are proud sponsors of a beehive on top of The Royal Festival Hall. Bristows regularly hands out a selection of bee-friendly seeds to its staff and promotes awareness through competitions etc.