Giving back for 30 years

October 3, 2018

As part of its 30th anniversary, Ward Hadaway reveals some of the social value it has helped create since it was established in 1988. But, as some of the team explain, this list – though impressive – is by no means the end of the story…

Newcastle-headquartered law firm Ward Hadaway has been committed to the communities it serves for the past three decades – making it a key part of its strategy long before the term Corporate Social Responsible (or CSR) was part of the business lexicon.

From the beginning, there was early recognition by the team that the firm doesn’t operate in isolation and that being involved in the local communities was not only a good way to give something back, but it provided Ward Hadaway’s people with an understanding of where the firm sits within the wider community.

This well-established and diverse social responsibility, however, has not been something the law firm has chosen to shout about in the past. Instead it has, understandably, remained focused on the promotion of its legal strengths and ever- growing client base across the North.

But Ward Hadaway’s landmark anniversary has proved the perfect opportunity to reflect on and celebrate past achievements, and also has made it a great time to pledge that its people will continue making a difference in the community for years to come.

Julie Harrison, partner, head of banking and finance and a trustee of St Oswald’s Hospice, leads the firm’s CSR committee.

“We’re really interested in what people want to do, and which organisations they want to support,” says Julie.

“The firm-wide committee are now in the process of developing a number of themes for Ward Hadaway to commit to over the next two years, these include looking at sport, people’s health, the younger generation, arts and culture and helping the homeless.

“Ward Hadaway has been hugely supportive in allowing me to make time available to support St Oswald’s.”

Alex Wright, a partner in the property team, concludes: “As an organisation of the size that we are, we have the ability to make a difference; that’s what Ward Hadaway has done in the past and it’s something that we will continue to do.”

Just some of the charitable work which the firm has been involved in can be found over the page…


1. Trainees’ Challenge – Ward Hadaway links up with local charities and set fundraising goals, getting our trainees to use their developing skills and initiative to achieve the required target. This has raised thousands of pounds for charitable organisations. It also helps to develop an awareness of and commitment to wider community responsibilities which we aim to last throughout our young lawyers’ careers. Last year, the team raised more than £5,000 through the Percy Hedley Challenge.

2. Low Newton Prison – Members of the firm’s team supported Low Newton Prison with a project called ‘Seeing is Believing’ via Business in the Community and Manchester College. The firm collaborated with other businesses to deliver training sessions with a view to raising the aspirations of the ladies to gain employment on release from prison and equip them with skills for the world of work.

3. Dress-down days – Over a six-year period, the firm has raised more than £7,500 through dress-down days.

4. Mentoring at Burnside Business and Enterprise College – Ward Hadaway’s head of facilities, Norma Tullock and others from the firm, including senior partner, Jamie Martin, gave a presentation on why we get involved in volunteering in the community and took part in interview skill sessions with students. Jamie was also “shadowed” by a teacher – quite an experience for both of them!

5. Annual Great Legal Bakes – Ward Hadaway has taken part in the Great Legal Bake for a number of years to raise money for the Legal Support Trust.

6. Annual Legal Walks – People from the Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds offices have taken part in the annual Legal Walks that take place across the North to help vulnerable people gain access to legal support.

7. Maggie’s, Newcastle – Ward Hadaway gave £2500 every year for five years to support Maggie’s through the firm’s fund with the Community Foundation. The firm also raised more than £50,000 for Maggie’s from a series of clay pigeon shooting days. Maggie’s provides support to people with cancer and their family and friends.

8. Junior sports clubs across the North East – Team sponsorship and kit donations for various clubs, including the Percy Park rugby team.

9. Partnership with the Greggs Foundation – The firm has supported a local North East Breakfast Club for over six years, enabling more than 50 children to access a free breakfast each school day. Going forward, each of our offices will now sponsor a Greggs’ Breakfast Club.

10. Annual donation to Children North East instead of Christmas cards – Ward Hadaway has been actively involved in doing this for more than 15 years. Children North East helps provide funding in the community to help children grow up happy and healthy. Each year, the firm pays for a class of children from a local primary school to attend a Christmas panto at Northern Stage through their Christmas access programme.

11. World Cup Food Tournament, Leeds – The firm’s team in Leeds raised £2000 earlier this year. The money was donated to Older Wiser Local Seniors (OWLS) in Yorkshire.

12. Executive sleep-outs – Property partner, Lesley Fairclough, was one of the members of the Byker Housing Association who braved the elements to
raise money and awareness of Changing Lives in 2004.

13. Wallsend Sea Cadets – Norma Tullock and Ward Hadaway consultant David Hesselberth have provided time, advice and support to the cadets since 2008.

14. London Marathon for Teenage Cancer Trust – Commercial paralegal, John Hendry, corporate partner, Katherine Hay-Heddle, commercial partner, Matthew Cormack, and commercial Solicitor, Chris Bowen, took on the Virgin Money London Marathon for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

15. Youth Focus – Since 2013, Norma Tullock has been giving her time, advice and support to help young people in the community. Norma said: “I got involved in Youth Focus North East about five years ago by helping young carers and unemployed young people gain interview skills. I was then asked if I would become a director/trustee. I readily said yes because I liked the organisation’s ethos and what they were trying to do for young people.”

16. Community Foundation – Ward Hadaway plays a full part in the work of the Community Foundation. It has also backed the Giving Network to find 30 new people willing to donate £30 per month into a collective fund, matched pound for pound from the Community Foundation’s unrestricted funds. Ward Hadaway has its own fund in the Community Foundation and contributes to The Women’s Fund.

17. Business In The Community – The firm has been involved in the Business in the Community organisation for many years. Projects include building a sensory garden and painting collages for the Percy Hedley Foundation for children with disabilities, a classroom project for Northern Counties School for the Deaf and a garden project at Hendon School in Sunderland.

18. Food donations – The team have provided clothing, bedding and toiletries to Changing Lives, Newcastle over the years.

19. Abbey Dash, Leeds – The Leeds team has taken part in the annual Abbey Dash each year. In the past, they have raised funds for charities, including Phys Cap for Children.

20. The Booth Centre, Manchester – Ward Hadaway raised £800 this year with a barbecue in aid of The Booth Centre in Manchester.

21. Young Professionals Forum events in aid of Smart Works charity – Members of the team were involved in organising a Smart Works event at The Laundrette in Newcastle.

22. Governor roles – A number of Ward Hadaway’s team are Governors of schools and we allow them time and facilities to undertake that role. Senior partner, Jamie Martin, was chairman of NCG (Newcastle College Group) between 2006 and 2017, helping to build it into one of the UK’s largest and most successful Educational Providers. Jamie is also past member of the board and vice chair of the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and past chair of Sunderland AFC Foundation’s Development Committee and was Chair of NewcastleGateshead Initiative for six years, retiring from that role in 2013.

23. Our firm-wide 30th anniversary Three Points North relay challenge raised £7500 for COCO and the Greggs Foundation after a non-stop 135-mile relay between our offices in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

24. Trustees – Head of business development James Sykes is one of many within the firm who give their time and share their expertise as charity trustees. James joined Meadow Well Connected as a trustee in January 2017.

25. Great North Run – Property partner Lesley Fairclough was one of a number of women who undertook the 2001 Great North Run in their bras, in aid of Breast Cancer awareness. This raised more than £1500. Lesley is one of many Ward Hadaway people who have taken part in the run.

26. Bursaries – Ward Hadaway give bursaries to students in the North East, and in addition, we also provide paid work experience and guarantee an interview in our trainee recruitment programme, so long as they obtain a 2:1.

27. The Sponsors Club for Arts and Business – The firm supported this for a number of years. Founded by North East businesses in 1991, it was instrumental in developing and advocating Art sponsorship. Members paid fees which were used to match fund schemes to encourage businesses to sponsor the arts for the first time and for arts organisations to approach businesses for sponsorship. From 1991 to 2011, the fund encouraged 620 businesses to sponsor and gave out £869,815 to 306 arts organisations and artists.

28. The Canal & River Trust in Leeds – Members of the Leeds office volunteered to help client The Canal & River Trust with a clean-up of a section of the Aire & Calderdale Navigation following the floods of December 2015.

29. Improving the environment – Ward Hadaway have invested significantly in video conferencing facilities across our offices to enable “face-to-face” meetings to take place which avoids travelling and cuts down on the firm’s carbon footprint. The firm has achieved top environmental accreditation ISO 14001 certification from international business standards company, BSI.

30. Rugby League Cares, Manchester – Ward Hadaway works in partnership with Rugby League Cares, a charity to provide welfare support to the Rugby League Community of players, ex-players and their families.

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