Since 2019, law firm Fieldfisher has supported St Mungo’s to tackle challenges facing people experiencing homelessness. In this blog, we take a look back at some key moments in the partnership and celebrate all we have achieved by working together to end homelessness.
From the beginning of our three year partnership, Fieldfisher employees were keen to leverage their skills to help St Mungo’s clients in their recovery from homelessness. Digital exclusion disproportionately impacts people who have experience of homelessness, and this digital divide was made even greater when many things moved online during the pandemic. Fieldfisher recognised this and helped our clients to learn basic IT skills, by running IT courses for clients at St Mungo’s Recovery College. These courses aimed to teach essential digital skills in a safe and supportive environment, as well as offering more advanced skills such as web development.
More recently, Fieldfisher collaborated with Baker McKenzie to provide pro bono support to St Mungo’s. Both firms worked closely with teams at St Mungo’s to identify areas of the law that homelessness specialists found unclear and difficult to navigate. The law firms then designed, wrote and built an online legal toolkit to enable staff to gain a better understanding of laws that relate to our work and clients. The toolkit itself is not exhaustive, nor a supplement for independent legal advice, but instead serves as a solid and accessible starting point to support staff in their roles and to help clients realise their rights. The toolkit, which has been two years in the making, launched in September and will continue to be updated in future outside as part of both law firms pro-bono commitments.
Reflecting on the partnership over the past three years, Fieldfisher’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Millie Hawes said:
“Global crises of recent years have disproportionately affected people who are homeless. We have often felt powerless over how to help, but working with St Mungo’s has allowed us to donate our skills and time, as well as our money. The digital inclusion workshops paved the way for non-legal pro bono programmes, and showed how law firms can partner with other organisations to make the law, and justice, more accessible.”
Jay Hunt, Head of Partnerships at St Mungo’s added:
“Our partnership with Fieldfisher is a shining example of the type of strategic relationships we want to build with our partners. Every step of the way, Fieldfisher considered how they could add value to our work by using their skills and resources as a business to address specific issues facing our clients and staff. On top of this, despite several lockdowns throughout the duration of the partnership, their drive and enthusiasm for our work was unwavering, resulting in them raising over £100,000 for St Mungo’s.”
We work with companies from a huge range of sectors to support people who’ve experienced homelessness or rough sleeping. Together we can end homelessness. Find out here how your organisation can get involved and help.