Allen & Overy Foundation Supports NI Charities

Thirteen charities delivering projects across Northern Ireland have been successful in securing funding from the Allen & Overy Foundation.

The Allen & Overy Foundation is funded by contributions from A&O partners worldwide and is managed locally by the Belfast Grants Committee.  It underlines a commitment to social impact – giving back, supporting initiatives at a grass roots level, and having a positive impact on the local community – that is central to building a fair and equitable society.

This year 60 applications were submitted, the highest number received to date. Successful organisations, including Extern and Ulster University, will receive a share of £88,479 to support their work. To qualify for support, charities must specialise in promoting access to justice, or support and develop education or employment projects across Northern Ireland.

Simon Wagstaff, Associate Director, Technology Services at A&O Belfast, and Chair of the Belfast Grants Committee, comments on the latest funding allocations: “The successful charities all have a passion for delivering projects in the fields of justice, education, and employment. These areas reflect our core values as a business, and we recognise the importance of providing vital funding to those who need it most across the community and charity sector.

“As well as offering financial assistance to the charities, we will be working with them to identify reciprocal volunteering and pro bono opportunities for our 700+ employees in Belfast.  This is an important aspect of our commitment and continued investment as a responsible business.”

Extern works to transform lives and create safer communities. They made a successful bid for funding and received £5,000 towards mentoring and employability support for young people with multiple and complex barriers to participation in the workforce.

Caroline Rutherford, Programme Manager Young People & Families at Extern says; “Extern’s Moving Forward, Moving On project is delighted with the donation from the Allen & Overy Foundation which will enhance our work with local young people, supporting them to progress into education, employment and further education and training. With Allen & Overy’s support we will offer them the best opportunity to make a successful start in the world.”

Ulster University received £12,000 which will provide two LLM Justice scholarships, enabling students to provide pro bono legal support.

Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor at Ulster University adds; “Since 2015 the Allen & Overy Access to Justice Scholarships have enabled over 20 students to reduce other paid work to dedicate more time to develop their practice in the Ulster Law Clinic and Social Justice Hub advising and representing clients, helping negotiate settlements, assisting with appeals, delivering free training to community groups to enable them to provide information to service users, and also mentoring Undergraduate students who provide family law support.

“This ongoing support constitutes a powerful recognition that the training of graduate law students in social justice is important and worthwhile. We are immensely grateful to the Allen & Overy Foundation for driving positive social change, enabling a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of talent in Northern Ireland, and purposefully building sustainable futures for all.”

The successful charities are as follows:

Education

  • Adoption UK
  • Aspire NI
  • Fighting Words
  • Integrated Education Fund
  • The Goliath Trust
  • Young Enterprise NI

Employment

  • Extern
  • Monkstown Boxing Club
  • The Turnaround Project
  • Kinship Care NI

Justice

  • Special Education Needs Advice Centre
  • Victim Support NI
  • Ulster University

Allen & Overy’s Belfast office opened in 2011. It is the second largest office in the A&O network by headcount, employing over 700 people. It includes a Support Services Centre which delivers business services – Document & Design, Finance, Human Resources, IT, Library & Information and Marketing & Business Development – to the firm’s global network. Through the Advanced Delivery Legal function, Allen & Overy Belfast is also at the forefront of delivering legal services to clients in new and flexible ways, with proportionate lower-cost, tech enabled resourcing and end-to-end managed legal services.