Time to show communities we really care by mucking in with charities on all fronts
When firms look at how they can support communities through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, many opt for schemes that try to improve the job chances and skills of the people they're supporting. They hope that in turn this will help the personal development of their own staff. There are, however, other types of programme addressing a range of issues that are less typical but equally worthwhile. For example, the less-travelled road of volunteering can still improve the lives of those supported. But it has the added benefit of developing communication, leadership and teaching skills for employees – skills which companies often have to address anyway through in-house training. Reed Smith is an international law firm based near Liverpool Street, right in the heart of the City of London. It is impossible for anyone working in the City not to see the sharp contrast between the area's wealth and that of its less privileged neighbours. This juxtaposition is emphasised further by a palpable lack of interaction between the two.
Volunteering gives lawyers invaluable ‘real world’ training, which is impossible to replicate back in the office, says Reed Smith partner Carolyn Pepper
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