• socialvalue
  • 5 minutes
  • 17/11/2021
11982

Blake Morgan: Private sector leadership -Social Value for Future Generations

Summary

Blake Morgan has a long history of supporting the communities in which we operate. Each of the firm’s offices has its own staff led Corporate Responsibility (CR) Committee whose role is to coordinate community engagement and charity fundraising. Every year, each office partners with a local charity to benefit from 12 months of fundraising. The charity selection process is open to
all. Staff are invited to nominate a local charity from which the CR committee prepares a shortlist. Shortlisted charities attend the office to present their cause and staff then partake in a vote.

Over the years, our Cardiff office have helped a range of fantastic charities including local homeless shelter Huggard and the Alzheimer’s Society. Since May 2019, we have been partnered with Guide Dogs Cymru. Guide Dogs Cymru provides life-changing mobility services to adults, children and young people with sight loss throughout Wales. As well as providing guide dogs, the charity also provides a wide range of other community-based support services to people with sight loss. Their purpose is to provide life-changing services for the independence of people living with sight loss and their friends and family.
Providing employees with volunteering opportunities is important to the firm and all members of staff are able to take up to 2 days per year to take part in fundraising activities in support of
the office charity.

Throughout the 2 year partnership with Guide Dogs Cymru, Blake Morgan have organised a number of fundraising events including quizzes, sponsored walks, cheese and wine evenings, football tournaments. Members of staff have also competed in marathons and sporting events to raise funds. The Covid-19 pandemic required our CR Committee to think outside the box to ensure charity fundraising was safe and socially distanced. Lockdown events included a virtual race of 299km (the length of the Pembrokeshire coastal path), a 14-day step challenge, photography competitions, sporting event sweepstakes, raffles and more.

Outcomes

We are dedicated to supporting our local community. We recently partnered with Working Wardrobe – an initiative run by Moxie in conjunction with Cardiff Community Housing, United Welsh Housing Association, Newydd Housing and Platfform. Working Wardrobe collects donations of second-hand, high-quality, new or gently-used professional workwear and distributes them to local job seekers in socio-economic need. We regularly attend the Reaching Justice Wales Legal Walk, a charity walk held annually to raise funds for legal advice charities in Cardiff and throughout Wales. With increasing cuts to legal aid, society’s most vulnerable are being left unprotected and without access to justice. The charities supported by this walk are able to make a huge difference to the lives of people who would otherwise be disadvantaged.

Supporting the communities in which we work is core to our culture. We recently supported the Monumental Welsh Women Group with the unveiling of a statue of Betty Campbell MBE, a
community activist and Wales’ first black head teacher.
We work to ensure that we recognise, support and promote the talents within our business, ensuring that our environment is one that listens, and one where everyone can reach their fullest potential. Our job is to remove barriers to success, and create a platform that enables our people and their talents to drive forward the success of our firm.

We pledge to:

  • Contribute to a working environment that is without discrimination, accessible, comfortable, healthy, well maintained, welcoming, free of harassment, victimisation and bullying.
  • Demonstrate and share a commitment to valuing equality and diversity, and develop attitudes and behaviours that support this.
  • Challenge what is considered unacceptable behaviour, be pro-active with regard to diversity, and take personal responsibility to promote good practice and create change.
  • Identify individual and firm-wide learning and development needs on equality, diversity and inclusion issues continuously, and undertake relevant training to maintain and improve knowledge and contribute to the learning and development of others.
  • Consider what may be offensive to others; and
  • Recognise it is unacceptable to withhold information and knowledge necessary to allow others to undertake their duties.

The Inclusive Top 50 Employers is a definitive list of organisations who evidence their commitment to inclusion in areas including recruitment, learning and development, and community activities across all nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010. In the 2020/21 list, Blake Morgan were ranked 39th, in the Top 50 for the fourth consecutive year. We are a founding member of PRIME, a scheme established by the legal profession as a commitment to providing fair access to quality work experience. We combat social inequalities by offering annual work placements for students from low-income families within our local communities.

We run our own Growing Ambitions programme. In its tenth year, the Growing Ambitions Scheme gives young people nominated by local social housing associations the chance to spend a week with us, gaining work experience and learning more about the world of business which will help with their future job prospects.

Submission from Gemma Barnett, Business Development Manager – Wales, Blake Morgan LLP

Judging comments by Guy Battle

Blake Morgan is an organisation that has shown the way in embedding social value into its business culture, processes and activities, and we’re delighted that it’s non-construction!

They have aligned all of their activities with the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Welsh Government’s Well-Being Objectives. This includes both outcomes we can deliver ourselves and (more significantly) using our expertise to help our clients maximise the community benefits they can also achieve.

Initiatives include:

  • Cardiff Commitment – brings the public and private sectors together to work in partnership connecting young people to the vast range of opportunities available in the world of work.
  • Social Mobility Pledge
  • GO Wales: Achieved through Work Experience – we partner with Cardiff University.

All their activities align with the FG Act, including how they interact with their clients, community and own people – with lots of initiatives.

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