Charities across Northern Ireland are invited to apply for a share of up to £50,000 funding through the Allen & Overy Foundation, which is funded by contributions from A&O partners worldwide.
The funding is managed locally by the Belfast Grants Committee, which administers support to a range of charities which promote access to justice or support and develop education or employment projects across Northern Ireland.
Simon Wagstaff, Global Head of Tech Services at A&O Belfast and Chair of the Belfast Grants Committee says: “The Belfast Grants Committee is pleased to be able to continue to support worthwhile causes across Northern Ireland. As one of the world’s largest law firms, we recognise the current need for, and importance of, making a difference at a grass roots level.
“Allen & Overy is committed to the Northern Irish marketplace as well as giving back to local communities – it is an important aspect of what we deliver locally as a firm. We are particularly interested in applications that resonate with our core themes of increasing access to justice, and the advancement of education or employment across Northern Ireland. To benefit from the Allen & Overy Foundation funding, charities should be based locally or have a specific area of focus in Northern Ireland.
“We understand that many organisations in the third sector are continuing to deliver at reduced funding levels against an extremely challenging backdrop, and with that in mind we can consider applications for up to three years of successive funding.”
“We are also keen to share the skills of our people so we will be giving priority to charities that can offer reciprocal volunteering or pro bono opportunities. We have over 600 people working in the Belfast office across our legal team and business support staff, all of whom have a significant contribution to make, either through offering their time or expertise. The focus on volunteering will be mutually beneficial as we work towards our target of achieving 4000 hours of volunteering or pro bono work this year.”
Charities that have benefited from funding in the last year include Young Citizens and The Brilliant Club.
Young Citizens is an education charity working in primary and secondary schools across the UK to help educate, inspire and equip the active citizens of tomorrow. They are currently working with two schools and 60 pupils in Northern Ireland.
Ashley Hodges, CEO of Young Citizens says: “Our charity’s education team has collaborated with A&O’s legal professionals to plan several exciting interventions for young people in NI to promote and boost legal literacy. These include our flagship Legal Experts in Schools programme, taking part in The Big Legal Lesson 2022 and the launch of a brand new classroom resource on Human Rights, which will be freely available to all secondary schools. We would like to thank volunteers from A&O for helping children to understand their rights and responsibilities, ultimately encouraging them to become active participants in our democratic society.”
The Brilliant Club supports young people aged 9-17 to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to realise their potential and progress to the most competitive universities by taking part in university-style tutorials and discovering more about university learning and life.
Sabrina Luisi, acting Chief Programmes and Communities Officer, The Brilliant Club adds; “The funding from A&O has enabled us to support 170 primary and secondary school students from less advantaged backgrounds in Northern Ireland take part in The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme. Over the last four years, students have learnt alongside a PhD researcher, developing the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to access the most competitive universities and succeed when they get there.”
Charities interested in applying for funding should email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting an application form and outlining how their work meets the criteria of increasing access to justice or the advancement of education or employment. Completed application forms should be returned by 5pm on Friday 6 May 2022 and successful charities will be notified by the end of June 2022.