Supporting the community and being responsible for our impact on the environment
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a mechanism used by organisations to incorporate policies into their business model which address environmental and social concerns, and which have a positive impact on individuals, the local community and the environment.
Playing an active role in the local community is hugely important to us at Brachers. Our roots run deep in Kent; we are celebrating our 125th anniversary in 2020 and Brachers is proud to recognise the importance of giving back to the local community.
Brachers’ charity of the year 2021-2023: Time for the Homeless
Every two years, Brachers chooses a local charity to support with donations of both time and money, with the aim of raising the profile of the charity. Over the past few years, Brachers’ staff have raised over £40,000 for Kent charities, including Macmillan Kent, Heart of Kent Hospice, Headway West Kent, Blackthorn Trust, Demelza House, Spadework, as well as our 2021-2023 charity, Time for the Homeless.
The charity has a team of 15 volunteers who run a service of soup kitchens and provide support for vulnerable individuals in Medway and Maidstone, close to our firm’s head office.
Led by our firm’s internal Community Relations Committee, we are planning a range of fundraising activities and initiatives to support Time for the Homeless over the coming two years.
The money raised will contribute to the charity’s most pressing goal, an £8,000 dedicated van to use for the soup kitchens, as founder Michelle Langley is currently using her own vehicle.
Our charity and community work
Alongside our charity of the year, we support a wide variety of charity and community events in the local area. These include:
- sponsor of the Heart of Kent Hospice Elmer Trail 2021
- sponsor of the Kent Charity Awards 2021, and part of the judging panel for three of the award categories
- sponsor of the Leeds Castle Concerts since 2017
- category sponsor for the Kent Law School Awards.
We have also supported charity fun runs by providing refreshments, helped local food banks by providing publicity materials, attended local schools and career events supporting students, and donated gifts to disadvantaged children in care in the local area.
Our partners also contribute to the Brachers Charitable Trust, which has contributed to more than 100 charities since 1990. Many of our lawyers also volunteer their free time to charities across the South East, on boards as trustees and through pro bono work.
Playing an active role in the local business community is essential to us and we recognise our role to help support economic growth in our region. We consider ourselves to be a valued member of local business community groups, committed to making a positive impact to business growth. The business schemes and events we support include:
- founding Corporate Partner for Visit Kent since October 2016
- corporate Partner of Locate in Kent
- member of One Maidstone since January 2017
- Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Patron since February 2017
- member of the East Kent Economic Development Group since it was established in 2015
- sponsor of the Kent Business Summit 2020
- sponsor of the ‘Kent Debate’ at Business Vision Live since 2017
- sponsor of the CLA Kent Debate since 2017
- sponsor of Farm Expo 2021
- sponsor of the Kent Press and Broadcast Awards since 2019
- category sponsor of VPlough 2020.
We are passionate about supporting our clients, employees and community in any way we can, and for this reason are proud supporters of the Dementia Friends campaign, championed by Mary Rimmer – a Partner in Brachers’ Private Client team.
Dementia is an umbrella term describing a range of progressive neurological diseases of the brain, of which Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common, contributing to 60-70% of cases. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a disease of the elderly and it affects younger people too. There are over 100 types of dementia; each with its own progression rate and each person experiences dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia Friends is a social action movement, launched in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2013, which sees individuals being trained by the Alzheimer’s Society to become a Dementia Friend Champion. Champions hold information sessions focusing on the personal impact of dementia, spreading awareness and creating Dementia Friends.
Mary first undertook the training to become a Dementia Friend Champion in January 2019 and regularly hosts Dementia Friends sessions for her colleagues, contacts and local community. She is part of the Tunbridge Wells Dementia Friendly Community (DFC) and the Building a Dementia Friendly Maidstone group, which encourage as many local people, professionals, carers, people with dementia and anyone with an interest in dementia, to work together in the aim to make the district Dementia Friendly. The groups meet regularly to discuss issues, share good practice and work towards agreed actions and priorities in order to improve the lives of people living with dementia locally.
Mary has recently been congratulated by the Alzheimer’s Society for hitting the 1k Dementia Friends milestone, having created 1,005 friends within a year.
What’s more, Brachers is pleased to have earned a ‘Working To Become a Dementia Friendly Kent Organisation’ badge and is proud that nearly 75% of staff have become Dementia Friends.
Brachers was recognised for its work with the community in the Kent Law Society Awards 2020. The firm won the Community Award, which celebrates charity giving and community support.
We were pleased to be shortlisted as finalists in the Middle Sized Business category at the Dementia Friendly Kent Awards 2019, with Mary Rimmer nominated as a finalist in the Emma Kent Outstanding Contribution category.
Local sports team sponsorship
We have been a sponsor of Maidstone Rugby Club since 2019 and are delighted to continue as a partner for the 2020-21 season.
The 140-year-old club runs four senior men’s sides, as well as a successful youth and minis side. With a membership of 500, it is also one of the few clubs in the region to boast a social veteran’s side.
Robert Hayton of Maidstone Rugby said Brachers partnership would provide vital funds for the club’s future. “Maidstone Rugby is extremely grateful that Brachers has chosen to support high quality, community-based grass roots sport in Maidstone. We are always excited when we take on new partners and Brachers generosity means we can continue to invest in the present and future of the club. We aim to run an efficient organisation, and Brachers’ support will be key to the continuation of that.”
Canterbury Rugby Club, who play in National League 2 South, usually has a busy schedule of league and international matches, with adult, youth and wheelchair teams playing at the club.
Giles Hilton, Chairman of Canterbury Rugby Club, said: “Canterbury Rugby Club are delighted to welcome Brachers to the family of sponsors and supporters of CRFC. In these difficult times, support is very welcome to ensure the future of a great rugby club.”
We are also sponsors of Mote Colts at Mote Cricket Club, which is committed to the development of young cricketers in Maidstone, coaching children aged between six and 15. The club encourages as many young players as possible to get involved with the game, working with local primary schools and community initiatives to introduce cricket to children who might not normally have contact with the sport.
Nick Aldrich of Mote Cricket Club said “Brachers’ support will help us purchase more cricket equipment so that our young superstars can learn and enjoy cricket without their parents’ personal financial circumstances being a potential challenge. Our mission is that we as a club will have enough bats, pads, helmets, balls and gloves so that every boy and girl can play. Brachers’ sponsorship will be key to this and we are all extremely grateful.”
As a firm we recognise our responsibility to take a sustainable approach in our day-to-day operations and minimise the impact of our business on the environment.
We have taken, and continue to take, steps to incorporate environmental good practice across all areas of the business, underpinned by our Environmental Policy. This includes, but is not limited to:
- managing waste responsibly and reducing carbon emissions
- taking steps towards a paperless office
- encouraging remote working and providing access to video conferencing to minimise business travel
- as an example, in 2019 we recycled 9105 tonnes of waste, 100% of our cardboard was recycled and 100% of our general waste avoided landfill, being used as refuse-derived fuel through the energy-from-waste process.
As a result of our efforts, we have achieved ISO14001, which sets environmental management system quality standards.
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