Lawyers are more commonly known for serving notices, but this Christmas Muckle LLP has swapped pens for pans and helped Oasis Community Housing serve up a splendid Christmas dinner for people in need.
Ten volunteers from across the Newcastle-based law firm have worked closely with the homelessness charity to help bring some extra Christmas cheer to their Gateshead and Sunderland Basis projects this December.
Oasis believes in prevention and intervention and works closely with people dealing with homelessness to address both the immediate needs and the root causes of being homeless. At their Gateshead and Sunderland bases, the charity offers people help with issues such as employability and housing and provides a safe space for one-to-one and peer group support.
Led by Oasis director of programmes (and acting head chef), Phil Conn, volunteers served up two cracking Christmas lunches for more than 50 service users.
Nic Leyden, Muckle HR director who volunteered at Sunderland, said: “Phil has been brilliant and ran a very organised kitchen, cooking everything from scratch. We’ve been busy chopping carrots, peeling potatoes and scouring the shops of Sunderland in search of some elusive sage for Phil’s incredible homemade stuffing!
“It’s been a fantastic day and a real pleasure and a privilege to volunteer, give a little something back and meet the fantastic team at Oasis Community Housing, who provide such valuable support to people dealing with homelessness.
“It was also great to meet and chat to some of the people the charity helps. It is clear they thoroughly enjoyed the event and they have been quick to tell us what an amazing job the Oasis team does day in, day out.”
Phil Conn, director of programmes for Oasis Community Housing, said: “It’s been great working with the Muckle volunteers. They have been brilliant and helped to make this a really enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
“It’s so important at Christmas to try and do something special for the people that depend on us throughout the year, who might be struggling with a number of issues. Our key message is hope, not homelessness, and these events exemplify that ethos by providing a vital a sense of community, friendship and belonging, as well as good food.
“It is fantastic to have businesses that really make an effort to understand their community and get involved to make it as strong as possible. Muckle are setting a great example.”
Muckle runs an extensive CSR programme and actively encourages volunteering. Around 40% of its people regularly volunteer for local projects, they provide between £50,000 and £100,000 of free legal advice to charities annually and each employee gets two days’ paid volunteering leave to support causes they care about each year.
The firm also donates 1% of its annual profits to its Muckle Fun at the Community Foundation, through which it has granted over £500,000 to local charitable causes and community projects since the fund began.