Our commitment to responsible business and sustainability underlies everything we do. At this time, more than ever, Travers Smith is continuing its focus on community engagement, and assisting those in need. Most recently, we are proud to have signed up to the government's C-19 Business Pledge, which provides additional support to employees, clients and communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19 has created countless challenges but also presented opportunities to collaborate for the greater good. Below are some examples of our work in this area:
In support of the charity sector, which has taken an enormous financial hit as a result of the crisis, the Travers Smith Foundation has provided funding to support smaller charities to help with Covid-19 related relief projects. Some of the charities which received donations to enable them to continue their vital work during this difficult time include: Fareshare, New Horizon Youth Centre, Single Homeless Project, Raising Futures Kenya, and Food Lifeline, along with a number of other charities which support vulnerable people and provide community aid. In addition, we have provided financial donations to our long-standing charity partners, including; SHP, Brighter Futures Zambia, Just Like Us and GiveOut, to enable them to continue their excellent, and often life-saving, work.
Pro bono legal
As part of our contribution to The Collaborative Plan for pro bono, we are monitoring issues in relation to domestic abuse and considering the ways in which victims are at additional risk during the lockdown. As well as assessing the additional or increased legal needs in this regard we are looking at both practical and legal solutions (including the launch of our own advocacy team in partnership with the National Centre for Domestic Violence which will take on domestic abuse clients remotely and represent them at urgent hearings as they seek protective injunctions).
Separately, we have taken on a not-for-profit biotech start-up to facilitate the development of a covid-19 testing kit for public deployment and are actively participating in the FT Global Legal Hackathon which seeks to produce legal and tech solutions to a range of issues that have arisen out of the pandemic.
We have donated acetate sheets to medical device start-up company Augment Bionics to help enable them to produce face masks for frontline NHS workers. As a result of donations from a broad range of companies and individuals, Augment Bionics' manufacturing capacity has increased from 1,000 to 17,500 shields a week.
- We are working closely with our various CSR partners in order to deliver initiatives remotely – such as mentoring for disadvantaged university students via the City Solicitors Horizons scheme, and online learning for members of the start-up/entrepreneur community via Your Start Your Story.
For our people
We are also acutely aware of the challenges our own people are facing during this difficult time, and have implemented a series of initiatives aimed at supporting everyone who works at Travers Smith.
- We have developed a wellbeing site which provides guidance and advice on a broad range of issues relating to wellbeing, including "Staying Active", "Staying Connected", "Good mental health" as well as guidance for parents and carers.
- We are also delivering webinars on financial wellbeing and budgeting
- A series of webinars and podcasts will be launched during Mental Health Awareness Week on May 18 to provide people with tools and guidance on how to promote good mental health.
- We have also created a digital platform to enable people to share stories about their own wellbeing and experiences of lockdown, with the intention of maintaining the firm's sense of community.
- We have rolled out extensive policies, relating to leave, volunteering and social support, to enable our people, where possible, to work in a manner which suits their current circumstance.