This firm and Coram’s Field’s Charity have more in common than meets the eye. We are a law firm founded in the 18th century, and Coram’s Fields a 1936 Charity, based on land in Bloomsbury given by Thomas Coram in the 18th century for the Foundling Hospital. Coram’s Fields Charity now provides sports and recreation facilities for children who come from all over London, and from all walks of life, many of whom are vulnerable, helping to transform their lives and given them opportunities they would not otherwise have.
We are, as a Partnership, in our 10th year of a fun and live-giving association, which has involved fundraising, supporting and mentoring. Over our 10 years of working together, PHB people have walked alongside many children and young people referred by Coram’s Fields, to help them on their way. Indeed, a couple of years ago, one of our mentees came to work at the firm as a paralegal alongside her mentor within the firm. With our apprenticeship programme well underway at Payne Hicks Beach, we are hopeful that experience will not be the only one of its kind.
But the help is not a one way street. When our Private Client department this year needed somewhere to spend an afternoon engaging in some team-building activity, Coram’s Fields (as part of their Connecting Futures programme) offered us the space and opportunity for some manual labour, and good clean volunteering fun. 35 of us trekked over the Coram’s Fields one beautifully warm sunny June Friday afternoon, armed with nothing but a sense of goodwill, and got stuck in. We shovelled 14 tonnes of bark chippings, spreading it over the playground areas, and cleared the 7 acre site of the extraordinary amounts of Plane Tree pollen that 2023 seems to have produced. We did wonders for the site, but also for our morale and engagement together as a team.
Everyone swept and shovelled with a will (although some appeared to take it more seriously than others!), transforming that site so that countless children from all walks of life have a good safe area for learning and play. Our shovelling made a difference, both to Coram’s Fields Charity, and also to us.