Michael Crossan is passionate about his and his firm’s involvement with Richard House Children’s Hospice. The Clifford Chance partner told attendees at a launch event for the charity’s Premium Partners initiative: “I always say to Peter Ellis, chief executive of Richard House, when he says thank you for the money we’ve raised, actually we should be thanking him because it’s my team who are getting most out of this relationship.
“You get back an awful lot more than you put in and I would urge anyone to get involved.”
The Canary Wharf-based law firm has been supporting Richard House since 2002 and Michael’s been involved since 2004, but what does such a partnership offer a big corporate firm?
“I think the relationship we have with them is exceptional,” said Michael. “We’re in a service industry where I teach my lawyers about client focus and I use Richard House as an example.
“They listen to you. They care about the impact it has on you and the work you’re doing.
“They’re always looking to make your support enjoyable – rewarding for you as well as rewarding for them.
“Everyone who’s been involved from my firm has both been bitten by the cause and impressed by the people who work there – so much so, David Bickerton, head of our London office, is now a trustee.
“It is remarkable parents have the confidence to leave their children at Richard House, knowing they will have an educational time, be cared for and play.
“It is something quite special to go to visit for the first time. You’re nervous, but seeing children there having fun and going there to live is really quite overwhelming. It completely lifted me.”
As a Gold Premium Partner, Clifford Chance is committed to raising £35,000 for the charity over the course of a financial year.
Michael said: “It’s approximately £6,000 a day the fund raisers need to earn from the business sector.
“But there are so many ways that firms can support them. For us, giving money and selling things, of course.
“Legal advice, that’s a given. But we’ve also been volunteering at the centre, in the gardens and organising events such as a sponsored static bike ride in Canary Wharf where participants took on a stage of the Tour de France.
“That was an exciting event featuring 12 teams and brought in about £20,000 for Richard House.
“As well as raising money for the cause, the faces of the lawyers and clients coming off the bikes, that buzz of excitement, is really exceptional.
“The number of people who come back after such events and ask what more they can do really tells us we’re working in partnership with Richard House.
“The Permium Partners scheme is fantastic to be involved in. It’s great to be a gold member of that scheme but that’s the benchmark for us and we want to do more next year if we can achieve it.”
What is the Premium Partners scheme?
Richard House has created the initiative in a bid to attract more corporate support for the charity.
Partnerships come in four levels – Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze, with companies pledging to donate £50,000, £35,000, £20,000 and £10,000 respectively over the course of a financial year.
Packages include a range of benefits including invitations to events, team building days, volunteering opportunities and sponsorship of large fund raising activities.