Leeds law firm helps make a Big Change for those on city centre streets

Squire Patton Boggs Leeds office managing partner John Alderton and David Chan, Real Estate partner and head of the firm’s Charity Committee

A Leeds law firm is helping to make a “Big Change” to the lives of those in need on the city’s streets.

Staff at the Leeds office of global law firm Squire Patton Boggs have chosen to support Big Change Leeds and will be spending 12 months taking part in an array of fundraising events and activities – including one involving a paddle and the Pennines.

Big Change Leeds is a new collaborative city-wide alternative giving campaign which looks to provide practical support to those people on the streets of Leeds city centre, helping make a real difference to individual circumstances and lives.

A central on-line resource, it enables businesses, organisations and individuals to make donation of money, items and time which are then accessible to more than 60 different charitable organisations operating in the city.

Partner David Chan, who leads the office’s charity committee, said: “In recent years the number of people living on our streets in the UK has noticeably increased.  Leeds is no exception, but tackling homelessness is a complex issue.  As a business working in Leeds for many years, we want to do our utmost in making a real difference to those in need on the streets of Leeds.”

Staff at the firm, whose offices are in Wellington Place, have been planning a calendar of fundraising activities including a ‘food for a fiver week’ challenge and participation in the Leeds half marathon.

And next month, some of them will be taking it turns to paddle from Manchester to Leeds along the historic waterways that cross the Pennines. Over the course of five days, this nautical adventure will involve paddling 112 miles, 5¼ furlongs and 87 locks in a 16ft canoe, with 43 moveable bridges, 50 small aqueducts, three tunnels and three major aqueducts to navigate through.

Andrew Sprake, partner at Squire Patton Boggs and captain of this adventure, said: “I think it is fair to say that none of us are experienced paddlers, so it is not going to be easy.  It is a very long way, especially in a canoe.  However, we really wanted to push out the boat in showing our support for the fantastic work that Big Change are coordinating in Leeds.”

Squire Patton Boggs Leeds has an active charity committee and chooses a different cause annually to support. Last year, the firm raised in excess of £20,000 for Diabetes UK from activities including a bungee jump, cycle sportive, sponsored walk and runs and two city centre singathons.

Fundraising for Big Change Leeds has got off to a good start with the first £1,000 donation having been made.

Mr Chan added: “We have made a great start to our fundraising and with plenty of other activities planned between now and the end of the year, our team is keen to roll its sleeves up and see if we can beat last year’s fantastic fundraising efforts.”

Sponsorship for the Pennines paddle can be made at: https://www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/paddle


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