At Simmons & Simmons, we are committed to giving our time, energy, ideas and skills to support individuals and organisations within the communities in which our people live and work. Our support is focused around the theme of access and making legal services and funding more accessible. We have also made a commitment to make the world of work, and the legal profession in particular, more accessible to people from a diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances.
For more information about our key community projects, please visit our latest CR Review.
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- The Big Issue Foundation
The firm has been providing pro bono advice to the Big Issue Foundation for over three years and we have extended our relationship with the charity through a number of new projects.
We have now supported a number of Big Issue vendors via the vendor development programme, each of whom sells the Big Issue magazine in our London office one day a week and completes a personalised training programme to enhance their employment prospects.
We have further developed our relationship with the Big Issue Foundation by embedding vendor shadowing into our trainee programme. This enables colleagues to participate in team-building whilst learning how vendors run their own micro-businesses.
One of the trainees recently commented after an afternoon of shadowing a vendor: “I found it eye opening and heartening, it’s definitely given me something to think about.”
- Supporting Young People
We coordinate a number of mentoring schemes across our international network. These range from reading with young children to advising students with the university application process. We have participated in reading schemes with Moreland Primary School in London for over a decade and more recently with Kingfisher Primary School in Bristol. We provide younger children with an opportunity to experience the joy of reading and improve their skills, particularly where English is not their first language.
Secondary school, college and university mentoring schemes focus on providing career advice and guidance to older students thinking about further education or their choice of career.
Our Bristol office works with Envision and supports Redland Green School on the annual city-wide Community Apprentice programme under which Simmons & Simmons volunteers support 20 local students from disadvantaged backgrounds who develop community-focused projects over ten months before being assessed by the Mayor of Bristol.
- Young Talent Programme
The firm runs an ambitious and award-winning secondary school programme with Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, London. The programme is designed to raise students’ aspirations through a series of ongoing, longer-term initiatives that provide access to the legal profession and wider work opportunities.
Each year our firm, in collaboration with the school, selects a group of twelve Year 10 students to be part of the programme, which spans a seven year commitment of support for each cohort of students while they are at school, college and university or at work, with each cohort returning to the firm every year to participate in a range of activities including work experience; skills sessions; project work; presentations; paid internships; and group mentoring. Students also have the opportunity to apply for one of two firm bursaries (£5,000 per year for three years).