Ward Hadaway has always been committed to the communities which we serve.
As a firm we think carefully about how our activities and standing can improve the lives of people within those communities.
This commitment takes many forms and goes far beyond a ‘tick-box’ approach to being a better corporate citizen.
The Community Foundation
We play a full part in the work of the Community Foundation, which awards grants to groups and projects in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland in need of funding and that make a real difference to the community and the people they serve.
The firm has its own Fund within the Foundation to invest in a variety of local projects focused on health and young people.
Business In The Community
Ward Hadaway has also been fully involved in the Business in the Community organisation for many years and plays a full role in its work in the North East.
Projects undertaken by the firm have included building a sensory garden and painting collages at Percy Hedley School for children with disabilities, a classroom project for Northern Counties School for the Deaf and a garden project at Hendon School.
The latter two projects were carried out in partnership with employees from long-standing client Sage UK. We introduced the company to the work carried out by Business In The Community and Sage is now a committed supporter of the organisation.
This is just one example of how we work to expand the beneficial impact which we have on the community besides the individual efforts of our employees and it is an approach we take on a regular basis.
It is a prescribed part of the training programme for our trainee solicitors to engage in charitable and fund-raising work during their two-year traineeship.
We link up with local charities and set fund-raising goals, getting the trainees to use their developing skills and initiative to achieve the required target.
Not only has this raised thousands of pounds for charitable organisations, it also helps to inculcate an awareness of and commitment to wider community responsibilities which we aim to last throughout our young lawyers’ careers.
We also use our in-house PR resources to help generate valuable publicity to further raise the profile of the charities with which we are involved.
We use our position as a pan-Northern law firm to benefit communities right across the North of England.
Each year, our Leeds office votes on a different charity to support throughout the course of 12 months. Previous recipients have included the Prince of Wales Hospice while funds are currently being raised for Physcap, which aims to help improve the quality of life for children suffering from severe physical and mental disabilities.
Members of our Leeds office have also volunteered for a number of community initiatives, including helping the Canal & River Trust with a clean-up of a section of the Aire & Calderdale Navigation following the floods of December 2015.
Our Manchester office is also making its presence felt in the community, raising funds for a variety of local charities.
Voluntary and pro-bono work
Various members of the firm donate their time and expertise to a range of good causes, non-profit making organisations and community-based bodies.
In total, our staff help out more than 40 different organisations, ranging from sports groups and scout packs to hospices, children’s charities and the Prince’s Trust.
We have assisted on a wide range of projects, including the Regional Youth Work Unit (RYWU), which works to encourage young people on Tyneside to boost their career aspirations by giving them training on interview techniques and employability skills. As well as devoting time to developing young people’s skills, Ward Hadaway also sponsors an award and helps to judge at the RYWU annual awards.
Members of the firm fill non-executive positions on the boards of organisations including the Northern Learning Trust and Changing Lives, which supports socially-excluded people.
Many staff at Ward Hadaway are also trustees on a range of charities.
Our other pro-bono work across the firm includes:
- Advising on a successful planning application for a tetraplegic former rugby player to build a bungalow in the grounds of his parents’ farm
- Advising Sport Newcastle on the establishment of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation to boost sporting chances for young people in Tyne and Wear
- Advising the Dean and Chapter of St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle on the Heart of the City Project, which aims to bring new life to the area surrounding the iconic cathedral
- Advising Newcastle arts organisation the Globe Gallery on a temporary exhibition in Newcastle city centre and on the gallery’s relocation to new premises
- Advising Leeds-based Future Arts, a service that aims to help, support and engage with young people who want to fulfil their dreams and aspirations through creative technology
Improving the environment
On a broader level, we operate a continuous improvement programme to minimise the firm’s environmental impact.
We recycle a range of products used by the firm, including paper, toner cartridges, computers and mobile phones as well as consumables such as glass bottles, cans, plastic cups and containers, IT consumables, used metal filing cabinets and fluorescent tubes and all metal products that we no longer have a use for.
We have invested significantly in video conferencing facilities across our office network to enable “face to face” meetings to take place whilst avoiding time spent travelling and cutting down on the firm’s carbon footprint.
Our firm-wide Environment Group also meets on a regular basis to gauge progress on initiatives and map out further potential improvements.