Sills & Betteridge is a progressive law firm which recognises the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. The partners encourage all members of staff to participate in CSR activities. This policy outlines the firm's commitment and provides examples of initiatives in which we have been involved.
1. Services to all
A large part of our ethos is the principle that all people should have access to legal services. We are committed to continuing to offer legal services to all clients. The firm is one of the leading firms in the region with regard to publicly funded work.
The partners expect and promote respect between all of our people both in their dealings with each other and with clients, suppliers and other third parties. The firm has a separate equal opportunities and diversity policy which outlines our commitment to the way we treat people.
3. Local Community
We define "community" as the local community within which we operate, namely Lincoln, Boston, Sleaford, Skegness, Gainsborough, Spilsby, Coningsby and their surrounding areas. We commit to contributing positively to the local community by being a responsible neighbour, by building strong relationships with the local community and by being actively involved in local issues.
The firm currently supports the local community in the following ways:-
a) Links with charities and other organisations
Each year the firm's employees nominate a local charity which will be supported. During the year various funding raising activities are organised. Previous nominated charities have been the Lincoln County Hospital Breast Cancer department, Wish upon a Star, Candles, LIVES and Share the Care.
The firm also supports the Nomad Trust, a local homeless charity.
Our staff regularly collects food, toys and clothes which are then donated to local charities. Charities receiving donations previously have included Women's Aid, the Nomad Trust, the Community Larder and St Luke's Church.
b) Sport and Recreation
We regularly sponsor local sports clubs, leagues and organisations. Current sponsorships include:-
- Lincoln City Football Club
- Lincolnshire Sunday Football League
- Gainsborough Trinity Football Club
- Boston Rugby Club
- The Lincolnshire Football League
- Woodhall Spa Cricket Club
c) Pro Bono Work
The firm encourages its fee earners to provide free or low-cost legal services to local charities and not for profit organisations.
The firm also gives free initial advice at clinics held in the office on set days each week. There are also clinics held throughout Lincolnshire at the following locations:-
- The Bridge Community Centre, Lincoln
- Surestart Clinic, Birchwood
- Police Federation (Police personnel only)
- The Elms, Torksey
- Infolinks Metheringham
- RAF Digby (RAF personnel and families only)
- RAF Cranwell (RAF personnel and families only)
- Holbeach Children's Centre
- Ruby Hunt Centre, Donington
- RAF Coningsby, The Lounge (RAF personnel and families only)
d) Business in the Community
The firm is involved in the BITC scheme. We also took part in the Lincolnshire Cooperative's Partners in Reading project. This involved members of staff visiting primary schools to read with children.
The firm has close links with a number of local schools. As a part of this relationship the firm actively participates in their work experience programmes. We usually take approximately 20 students of varying ages in a twelve month period. We also have several partners and employees who are school governors.
We aim to support the local economy by using local suppliers wherever possible.
g) Board Membership/Other Appointments
The firm encourages its employees to contribute to the local community by joining committees, trusts and boards. We are currently represented on the following organisations:-
- First College
- Laughton Blue Coat Charity
- Surestart, Lincoln
- Haven High Technology College
- St Mary's Preparatory School
- Eresby Special School, Spilsby
- Walcott Primary School
- Halton Holegate Primary School
- Lincolnshire Children's Forum
- Lincoln Child Contact Centre
- Citizens Advice Centre, Boston
The firm also allows the above organisations to use the firm's training room and facilities if required.
The partners recognise the importance of environmental issues both locally, nationally and globally. The firm attempts to reduce its impact on the environment by:-
- Continually seeking to improve our environmental performance,
- Reducing the volume of waste produced,
- Encouraging recycling throughout the firm,
- Reducing the firm's energy consumption by encouraging the intelligent use of all electrical equipment,
- Complying with current legislation and best practice
- Increasing staff awareness of environmental issues.