David Abbott has recently taken up the post of Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Wellness. David oversees the creation and implementation of Olliers’ social responsibility objectives. He is responsible for developing a programme of philanthropy and coordinating our volunteer efforts. He is also responsible for raising standards of employee satisfaction and promoting a general culture of wellness.
Olliers’ charitable work
Olliers workforce are committed to raising monies for various charities throughout the year both as a team and also individually.
Over the last few years Olliers has been involved in the following:
- Archaeological dig with the Salford Archaeological and Castlefield Forum – September 2018
- Regularly participating in gardening for the Friends of the Roman Gardens
- Peak District Challenge 50KM walk 23.9.17
- Raising money through Macmillan Coffee Mornings on number of occasions.
- Getting involved with the Shoebox Project with Manchester Street Angels– this involved making up shoebox presents for the homeless and their animals so that they would receive a gift at Christmas
- Volunteering at the Booth Centre ( local community centre run with and for people affected by homelessness) in all departments such as cooking, serving meals, assisting with IT, assisting with sewing and English classes
- Participating in gardening for the Friends of the Roman Gardens on two occasions tidying up the area generally and planting bulbs.
- Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge
- Manchester Legal Walk 10km annual event
- Participating in a Charity Quiz Night to raise monies for vulnerable children in Swaziland
- The Great Legal Bake with the profits going to North West Legal Support Trust.
- We have raised money for NWLST previously through the Legal Walk. It is an organisation which helps to fund free legal advice centres which assist people in connection with issues including housing, homelessness, discrimination and trafficking.
Olliers’ employee contributions to community
At Olliers we encourage employees to become involved in their local community on an individual basis as well as the various corporate initiatives referred to above. We feel that by allowing employees to give back to the wider community and the charitable causes that matter to them most, it can fulfill an important sense of purpose and allow people to use their skills in a different way from their day-to-day work, in turn, contributing to overall employee happiness. Staff are encouraged to participate in projects of their choosing and are given additional ‘special leave’ to facilitate the same.
Olliers’ recent employees individual contributions to their community are as follows:-
- Volunteering at weekly park runs
- Marshalling at the Race for life
- Volunteer visitor for Age UK – visiting old people with no family and little support network, at their homes
- Arranging collection of old spectacles to donate to Specsavers to be utilised in their charity to supply glasses to people in need in Africa
- Arranging recycling of printer cartridges to raise money for Breast Cancer
- Volunteering for football and cricket coaching and team management
- Being a school Governor
- Donations to NSPCC
- Donations to British Heart Foundation
- Volunteering at a local primary school to assist in educational classes and in the preparation of food.
- Some staff volunteer with their child’s school to assist on days out
- Alex Preston sits on the Criminal Justice panel for the Greater Manchester Autism and Learning Difficulties Strategy
- Alex Preston sits on a panel at the Prison Reform Trust about criminal justice and autism
Caring for the environment
We are committed to running a business that is environmentally sustainable and we continually strive to minimise our impact on the environment. Olliers’ sustainability drive is led and co-ordinated by our by CSR Lead David Abbott. We have ongoing debate to ensure we maintain and develop an integrated, comprehensive and practical sustainability policy that ranges from how we source our energy and office supplies, to how we print and recycle.
The nature of our work as a law firm means that we do not inherently have a high environmental impact but we aim to reduce our carbon foot-print through good practice. This includes:-
- Our ‘Turn it Off’ campaign – automatic lights in our manned office so minimal waste of electricity. Ensuring all lights and equipment are switched off when not in use and computers are powered down every night
- Ensuring that water is used efficiently – good maintenance – no dripping taps
- Installation of mains-fed water cooler machines as opposed to a bottled supply
- Using out of date letterhead/stationery for drafts/notes and message pad
- Our Recycling scheme – recycling as much waste as possible such as paper and plastic bottle tops
- Printing in mono and double sided where possible
- Digital working where possible and our paperless drive to reduce unnecessary printing
- Use of video conferencing facilities to attend upon clients in prison rather than travel by car to the various prison establishments
- Emailing correspondence to courts, police, barristers, experts and clients to reduce postage costs.
- All our office groceries are bought from the locals shops thereby reducing carbon emissions.
- We’ve rid ourselves of plastic cups for the water fountain and now only use glasses
- We promote the use of reusable take away cups
- We have cutlery so staff don’t need to use single use plastic cutlery
- We have blinds to block out the sun to avoid having to cool the office down electronically
- Shred it – recycle all our confidential waste (collections reduced to keep carbon footprint to a minimum) and working towards being paper free
- Reduced the hours our office is cleaned to reduce electricity
- We encourage the use of car sharing, cycling to work and promote green vehicles for company vehicles
- Encouraging working from home to reduce carbon footprint
- Energy saving hot water boiler rather than kettle
- Energy saving fridge
- Previously donated unneeded ladies toiletries to the Booth Centre
- Our energy is sourced from renewable sources
- Our office and cleaning materials are sourced from environmentally responsible suppliers.
We measure our sustainability performance by external, objective standards. We strive to go beyond a purely centralised, ‘top down’ approach and encourage a culture of sustainability and invite suggestions from all member of the team. Through a range of events throughout the year we encourage engagement with environmental initiatives.
Valuing the individual
Encouraging individuality is very much part of the Olliers culture. The firm provides an environment which allows everyone to develop and grow regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, maternity or pregnancy, race, religion or belief. At Olliers we are committed to ensuring that each member of the firm treats all of their colleagues with dignity and respect.
We aim to foster an environment which focuses on the talent and potential of each and every one of our team and is somewhere individuals from all types of background are able to flourish and achieve their ambitions in a happy, supportive and cohesive and environment.
We actively promote an environment which welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds. We have an inclusive culture in which every person is valued and is allowed to make an individual contribution in a working environment which is free from any form of discrimination.
Olliers is committed to being a diverse and inclusive place in which to work and conducts an annual survey of its staff.
Olliers aims to provide a happy working environment for its employees and this has been achieved by:
- Good employee relations
- Regular review of training needs – the firm is committed to giving every member of staff the opportunity of fulfilling their potential
- Providing funding and time off work to attend courses
- Encouraging staff to develop areas of specialism
- Open door policy
- Good internal communications
- Equal opportunities
- Health and Safety Procedures
- Flexible working patterns to assist with childcare
- Flexible working patterns to assist employees with their individual charitable work
The above ensures that the firm retains a well-trained staff force who are highly motivated in working in the very challenging environment of criminal law.