Every month we like to share a recommendation from one of our ambassadors: something that inspires them in their responsible business work. This month, Georgia Symons, Pro Bono and Community Outreach Specialist at Clifford Chance, shares insights into their work to support children’s literacy in Tower Hamlets as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As part of the Firm’s commitment to Access to Education, we had a literacy partnership with Shapla Primary School in Tower Hamlets for 25 years. Sadly, the school closed down due to gentrification in the area, but we have recently started a new relationship with St. Saviour’s CE Primary School in Poplar, Tower Hamlets.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, only 16% of pupils took part in daily online lessons in the wider Tower Hamlets borough. Volunteers are needed more than ever to encourage children to get back into the habit of writing and to tell them about the world of work too!
To support our relationship with St Saviour’s Primary School, volunteers at Clifford Chance have been taking part in The Writing Partners Programme. The programme is designed and delivered by The Switch (formerly Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership) a charity with almost 30 years’ experience of pairing volunteers with local pupils to improve their employability. Through the programme, volunteers have been able to continue to work with Year 5 and 6 pupils (9-11 years old) at the school, where they receive and respond to letters on six scheduled days over a twelve-week period.
This programme replaces our Reading Partners programme, which has ceased due to COVID-19 and will hopefully recommence after the Easter holidays.
For more inspiration, take a look at this brilliant documentary, Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51, which highlights the importance of literacy as a life skill and follows Jay as he embarks on his journey. And for more information about our programme, feel free to contact me.”
Georgia Symons is a Pro Bono and Community Outreach Specialist at Clifford Chance, a global law firm with 34 offices in 24 countries, and over 6,500 employees globally and ca.2000 employees in the UK. She has over 15 years’ experience working in philanthropy, specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility and volunteering. During her career, she’s set up and delivered programmes for a diverse portfolio of clients including local government, not for profits, corporates, and multi-stakeholder organisations.