What is Corporate and Social Responsibility?
Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) at Poole Alcock is all about managing our business in a way which supports our clients, staff and the local community, whilst minimising the negative economic, environmental and social impacts of what we do.
The firm recognises that it’s success has been built upon the local people who work within the organisation together with its reputation within the local communities throughout Cheshire.
In that sense CSR is, firstly, an integral part of the firm’s business planning and secondly, an issue which is relevant and important to everyone who works at Poole Alcock.
How does CSR benefit our clients?
- We aim to provide a service for our clients that we would want to receive ourselves.
- We strive to be professional, efficient and responsible in the services which we provide.
- We work towards and maintain practice standards (such as Lexcel, Investors in People and Conveyancing Quality Scheme), to help support these aims.
- We listen to our clients and learn from the feedback which they give to us, so that we can improve their experiences of instructing us going forwards.
How does CSR benefit our staff?
- We provide a fair and fulfilling place to work, where all staff have equal opportunity to advance.
- We continue to support training towards professional qualifications through ILEX and trainee solicitor recruitment.
- We promote diversity in all we do and promote mutual respect of people and the ways in which we are different to each other.
- We are working towards full membership of the Law Society’s Equality Charter.
- We promote and support social and recreational activities for staff within the firm to aid team building and wellbeing across the firm. Each member of staff who engages in a charitable or volunteering activity receives an extra days holiday as a ‘thank you’ from the firm
How does CSR benefit our community?
We view ourselves as having a symbiotic relationship with our community and take an active role to make a difference. We make a contribution to our community through :
- Offering publicly funded work, where practicable
- Volunteering in community projects, specifically aiming to achieve 100 hours of volunteering each year
- Supporting local charities and their fund raising activities
- Working towards a reduction in the environmental impact of how we operate through reduction of waste and energy consumption
How has this been working in reality?
Our CSR policy has been in place since 2011 and is led by our Partner Anna Burns. Since this time, we have been involved in numerous volunteering activities, such as:-
- Path building with the Forestry commission in Delamere forest to help improve access for wheelchair users
- Annual conservation work with the Cheshire East Rangers, helping with coppicing, path building, fence building, cutting back overgrown hedgerows to name a few
We have also been involved in numerous charitable events, such as:-
- Climbing Snowdon
- Taking part in Tough Mudder North West
We aim to organise 1 large charitable event such as those listed above each year, however we also support numerous charities throughout the year by taking part in cake bakes, dress down days, growing/wearing a moustache in November as well. We aim to have 1 charitable event each month.
For our staff
We run regular social events throughout the year including an annual Christmas party and annual 10 pin bowling competition which are extremely popular events. We have a number of policies across the firm which are aimed to protect our staff, such as:-
- Equality and Diversity policy-we are committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity within the firm. We aim to treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of disability, gender, marital status, age, race, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief or sexual orientation the protected characteristics.
- Flexible working policy-We are aware that in order to help our staff achieve their full potential, their employment must suit their whole lifestyle and as such we are committed to helping our staff find the best balance for them
- Health & Safety policy-to ensure the safety of our staff when they are at work
- Anti-harassment and bullying policy-to ensure that the work environment is free from negative behaviours
- Maternity, paternity, shared parental leave and adoption policies-allowing support and time off for staff members for whom this is applicable
- Compassionate leave policy
- Time off for Dependants policy
- Holiday leave policy, including an extra days holiday for staff birthdays
- Working from home policy
- Career break policy
- Overtime policy and time off in lieu of overtime policy
- Each member of staff has membership to Healthshield Insurance Plan which covers a wide range of private health costs
For our community
As well as the volunteering and charitable events that we are involved in, we also aim to help our wider community through:-
- Our business services team in particular provide valued support to local businesses and we host a ‘Wind down Thursday’ event each month with Watts Mortgage & Wealth Management Ltd for local businesses to attend and network with our contacts, which may be of interest for them.
- We are constantly involved with the community that we work in and regularly visit our Clients at home.
- We regularly hold legal ‘drop in’ clinics for people to access free legal advice from one of our solicitors.
- We believe in helping with educational needs for children within our community and some of our partners are on the Board of Governors at local schools to help in this respect.
- Our Criminal lawyers have given their time to judge High school children’s advocacy skills in the Mock Trial competition at Crewe Magistrates Court involving High Schools in our local area
- We have carried out Pro bono work for charities that we have been involved with closely and helped with the acquisition of property for them. We are happy to consider pro bono work in appropriate situations. Please feel free to ask for further information about our pro bono work.