Law firm praised for creating ‘a charitable model for the rest of the UK’
24 November 2015
A city law firm who a year ago answered the call from government urging the private sector to help regenerate local economies has been praised for creating “a model for the rest of the UK to follow” by regional business and industry ambassador Richard Caborn.
The former Minister for Sport was speaking at an event to celebrate the Wosskow Brown Foundation’s first anniversary and the opening of a dedicated office - described as a one-stop shop to growth.
Mr Caborn said: The Foundation sets a great example. The vision these people have here is a model not just for Sheffield but for the nation. They hooked together the private sector and sport and the community. They are helping a lot of young people develop their potential.
“The Foundation really does play a major part in the new Sheffield.”
A year ago the law firm’s charitable organisation launched to provide free support to 100 businesses,100 charities and 100 grassroots sports clubs over five years.
“We have been working with our first 36 beneficiaries to great success and our aim for Year Two and beyond is to scale up. We want to uncover new patrons and find a further 30-40 organisations to work with,” said Foundation director Jim Lawson.
He told Foundation beneficiaries, their mentors and other leading business figures gathered at the new office in Wosskow Brown’s John Banner Building at Attercliffe: “Our dedicated office signals our intention to continue helping our local economy and community partners. It’s a place where those we seek to help can walk in and have informal conversations with us about their growth ambitions.
Mr Lawson revealed a Big Lottery grant of £10,000 will be ploughed into the Foundation’s work with Third Sector organisations. It will fund four large events in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster during 2016 which will bring together business leaders, charities and social enterprises to procure long-term funding and sustainability.
There was good news for its grassroots sport members too. To help sports organisations across South Yorkshire, the Midlands, North East and North West make the transition to social enterprises and gain access to sports investment funds, the Foundation is partnering with Sheffield-based sport and leisure consultancy MLS, which is run by Sheffield Sharks chair Yuri Matischen.
Wosskow Brown managing partner Ian Brown said: “So much has been achieved in our first year. Our first grant is enabling us to do even more and the charity’s new home is our one-stop shop to growth. Established businesses wanting to expand, budding entrepreneurs wanting to get off the ground and local charities and sports groups needing help can come to network, get advice and benefit from business events and courses.”