Our Impact 2022

Throughout 2022, we have built on our history and heritage as a business that cares. We have made great progress and shall continue to strive to achieve an even greater impact on people and the planet and shall continue playing our part in making the world a better place.

We care about our people, our clients, our communities and our planet. We value ethics and fairness. We strive to be a responsible business, making a positive contribution to economic, environmental and social progress.

Our mission is to help people to a better future. Here are some of the things that we have done to make a difference in 2022…

A NEW Community Involvement and Development Board

We set up our first Community Involvement & Development Board (‘CIDB’). The CIDB is responsible and accountable for driving our social responsibility agenda in the community; for optimising and monitoring the impact that we have; and for assessing applications to and awarding grants from the Tees Better Future Fund.

A NEW fund to meet the needs of our local communities – the Tees Better Future Fund

The Tees Better Future Fund has been established to meet two key areas of need across our local communities:

  1. Learning and Education (building skills, raising confidence)

    Through learning and education, together we can improve the life chances of the younger generation by promoting talent, increasing social mobility and creating opportunities for people to thrive and fulfill their potential.
  2. Health and Wellbeing, including improving mental health for young people, children and families

    Through increasing access to sports and exercise and bringing children, young people and families people together, we support community cohesion, reduce isolation, help to improve physical and mental health through activity and promote healthy lifestyles. 

In November 2022, the CIDB awarded the first grants to :

  • Cambridge Junction Total Arts Group for young disabled people aged 13-25. The group provides opportunities to young people with a range of disabilities to develop their skills in performing arts.
  • Sports Connection Foundation, which works with children in Essex who are facing significant challenges or engaging in anti-social or risk-taking behaviour. The foundation uses sport to inspire, empower, educate and transform the lives of children and young people.

Applications for funding are open  - Deadlines are on 1st August and 1st February.

A NEW events and challenges committee

As well as setting up the CIDB, we also set up a new Events and Challenges Committee. To add to the £10,000 that the business already placed in the Better Future Fund, our Events and Challenges Committee have done a wonderful job, organising multiple fundraising activities. These events included 

  • A team of intrepid walkers completed the Flitch Way Walk back in October - the Just Giving page for the Better Future Fund ranked in the top 10% of most successful pages for that month.
  • We baked some incredible cakes at the Tees Bake Off and were grateful to the Saffron Walden Women’s Institute, the Chelmsford Women’s Institute and the Cambridge Junction for judging!
  • We got festive for Christmas jumper day and held various raffles in aid of the Better Future Fund.

So, how much have we raised in total? Over £2,500 has been raised since October 2022, which has been fund matched by the business. This means that at least £5,000 will be awarded from the Better Future Fund in the next round of grant applications. 

Inspiring the next generation

Our work with the next generation is important to us.

Across the offices, we work with local schools and colleges to offer feedback on CVs and  provide interview practice for students. We also attend careers evenings and fairs at local schools. We aim to help young people realise that, whatever their background and whatever barriers they face, working in a legal and financial services business is not just possible, but achievable.   

Creating employment opportunities and decreasing inequality

This year we have created opportunities with a view to decreasing inequalities. 

One example is a work experience placement offered to a young lady following a referral from the charity, Turtle Dove. Turtle Dove works with young women aged 14-24 who are at risk of becoming unemployed through not having the confidence or experience to seek employment, often as a result of early pregnancy or domestic abuse.

During her time with us, the lady had the opportunity to speak to a number of lawyers about their different career paths. She learnt about, and did some research on, all the different roles within the legal profession, which gave her a better understanding of how she might want to start her legal career.

Sponsoring community events and organisations

Events in the community bring together people from all walks of life. A sense of community is important for individual mental well-being, town identity and pride, and are an opportunity to showcase the community’s local businesses. 

We love supporting community events and have supported many in the last year. Food festivals and fireworks, to name just a few!

As well as supporting community events, we have sponsored 34 community organisations this year, including the Bishops Stortford Ladies Hockey Team and Histon Hornets Children’s Rugby Team. 

Supporting work and economic growth

We partner with the Brentwood Business Partnership to champion economic growth across the borough. This includes:

  • Raising awareness of Brentwood as a thriving place for businesses, visitors and residents
  • Increasing footfall and encouraging local spend to grow the local economy
  • Supporting retailers, business, tourism and the night-time economy
  • Sponsoring events and projects to attract more business and improve the public realm

Providing access to justice through Pro Bono Advice

We have provided over 2,000 hours of pro bono advice to those who, otherwise, would not have had access to justice through working with organisations such as:

Introducing our volunteering day

We have introduced a Volunteering Day scheme, whereby everyone at Tees is encouraged to spend one working day per year to volunteer at a charitable organisation of their choice.

The take up has been fantastic – some choosing to volunteer as individuals, some as teams. 

Example activities that we have engaged in include volunteering at schools; working in animal shelters; planting trees; and tidying up local cemeteries. 

Our volunteering has given us all different perspectives to issues that, as a society, we are facing and, most importantly, have provided us with the opportunity to give back to society.

Reducing poverty and hunger – foodbanks, hampers and mass cooking!

Ashton Hunt, Group Managing Partner at Tees, and some of our Medical Negligence Team used their Tees Volunteer Day to support C3 Impact by cooking and serving over 100 hot 2-course meals for those in need in the Cambridge area. Leftover food was put into the community fridge for individuals to help themselves to.

Many of our offices are now supporting their local foodbanks, collecting and donating food to local organisations who help those in need in their community. We are supporting:

  • the Bishop Stortford Foodbank, which supports anyone in Bishops Stortford or the surrounding villages experiencing a food crisis;
  • Abbey People Food Hub in Cambridge. This food hub provides food parcels to those in need;
  • Sanctus in Chelmsford, which is a charity which supports the homeless in the Chelmsford area; and
  • the Brentwood Foodbank, which operates from the Doddinghurst Road Community Church and is run by the Trussell Trust.

We also donated Christmas hampers to Abbey People, including some Christmas gifts for the children to share some festive joy. 

Making the switch to clean energy

This year, we joined the Legal Sustainability Alliance and the Legal Renewables Initiative, pledging to be fully powered by renewable energy by 2025.

But, why wait until 2025?  In 2022, we changed every single one of our energy suppliers so that we are now 100% ‘Green’, thereby beating that pledge.

A NEW commitment to climate action

In the last year, we have pledged to adopt an environment-first based approach to business decisions, to implement a green supply chain network, to use local suppliers wherever possible and to be net zero by 2040.

And for 2023….

We are extremely proud of our commitment to helping to positively impact our world. This will continue in 2023, with doing business responsibly at the heart of all we do. So in 2023….

We are already well under way to helping provide a greener community and will continue this throughout 2023.

We will be building our strategy to achieve net zero well ahead of the 2040 date. 

We are launching a new pro bono legal advice clinic with the Cambridge Acorn Project to provide legal advice to disadvantaged families around SEN, debt, housing and family law. This will make a tangible difference to the lives of children and families and will redress inequalities in accessing legal advice.

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