Sheffield school and business partnership applauded


A partnership programme between Chaucer School and staff at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors in Sheffield has won recognition for its success.

Volunteers from the law firm have helped to deliver a number of initiatives at Chaucer, where they were made very welcome.

Their award at the Yorkshire and Humber Local Recognition Gala Dinner was for the following initiatives.

The ‘Right to Read’ is a weekly session for selected students in Year 7, to help boost literacy skills. Irwin Mitchell’s reading partners gave their own time to listen to students read and help them when needed.

A ‘Maths in the Workplace’ workshop fpr all year 7 students was run by the law firm’s Special Damages Unit, who calculate financial losses for Personal Injury clients.

The workshop demonstrated why numeracy is so important and how this can be applied in a work context, while allowing students to put their skills to practice. Some of the youngsters followed up with a visit to the Irwin Mitchell office to see the Special Damages Unit in action.

The first stages of a Business Class initiative were delivered to year 10s. They heard a number of IM employees talk about varying job roles and the routes by which you can enter the workforce.

Students got the chance to ask questions and gain an understanding of how numeracy and literacy skills can open the door to a number of opportunities in law and business. A group of year 10 students will now attend CV and Interview technique workshops run by Irwin Mitchell’s HR team and have the opportunity to apply for work experience.

Irwin Mitchell also provided volunteers to interview students, as part of their Business Studies BTEC qualification, and to critique students’ business plans for a Dragon’s Den event ahead of 2014’s ‘Big Challenge’.

Dave Mountford, Assistant Head of Chaucer said: “We at Chaucer are delighted that Irwin Mitchell have received this award in recognition of the excellent work that is going into our partnership. A large number of students across all year groups are benefiting from the work we are doing, which is raising their aspirations and will have a positive impact on their academic performance.”

The Yorkshire and Humber Local Recognition Gala Dinner saw a large number of firms shortlisted for various prizes. At the event, Irwin Mitchell were recognised as winners of the ‘Employee Volunteering Business’.

Karen Codling, Associate Director at Irwin Mitchell said; “It was a massive honour for all our volunteers to be recognised for the hard work they’ve put in over the last 12 months. But we really couldn’t have done it without the amazing support from the staff and students at Chaucer School. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”