Pro bono support and support in kind
Pro bono support is critical to the charity sector and helps to provide skills in short supply or great need. It can help us to make savings and can be a very effective and alternative way of contributing to charities. We offer a range of ways in which your employees can utilise their skills and expertise, from legal research, HR advice, marketing and brand insights, business support and financial acumen.
Case study: The Huddersfield Law Society
Pro bono support from the Huddersfield Law Society has been instrumental in setting up a legal advice hub for young people including former child soldiers and refugees in Patongo, a former refugee camp in Northern Uganda.
Anne Pendlebury, a solicitor from Eaton Smith in Huddersfield visited Uganda in April 2014 with Nigel Dodds, the then chair of the Law Society charity to assess what could be done. She said that the visit proved that there was a clear and urgent need for assistance:
It is a particular problem that juveniles are placed with adult offenders because so many people have been displaced and papers, including birth certificates, have been lost or burned. Children are often thrown in to adult jails because there is only one remand home (four hours drive away in Gulu) which covers the whole region. Many of these young people have grown up without parental guidance or cultural values and with no or very limited education. Many are orphans, their family land having been taken away from them and there are very limited resources to support them.”
John Royle, a solicitor with Ridley and Hall, was responsible for getting the project off the ground.
He said that it had been a challenging task which would not have happened without the help of his colleagues at the Huddersfield Law Society, as well as funding from the Law Society charity. He also praised the good will and support of the Uganda Law Society, headed by President Ruth Sebatindira, and the determination of Anna-mai Estrella from Chance for Childhood:
People may ask why we are concerned about a children’s rights project in Uganda – that charity begins at home – but the reality is that we are a wealthy nation. Uganda is not. Uganda has the fourth fastest growing population in the world. Many of these young people are vulnerable and abused. As lawyers we have a responsibility to uphold the rule of law wherever and whenever we can and I’m glad that we have been able to do something to help these vulnerable children”.