Happy Story of the Week: Freshfields accounts worker carries Olympic torch
03 August 2012
One of last week's Olympic torch bearers is a former homeless man who works in Freshfields'
Joel Hodgson was born in Belize and was homeless as a child. He was adopted and moved to Scotland, but became homeless again and in an attempt to get back on his feet began selling the Big Issue. He moved to London and began selling the magazine in Freshfields' staff restaurant through the Big Issue's corporate placement scheme.
He became popular in the firm and started managing its football team, helping it to rise in the legal football tournament league table. He was offered work experience at the firm, impressed his colleagues sufficiently to be offered temporary work within the accounts team and then moved to a permanent position.
As part of Freshfields' London 2012 sponsorship the firm was allowed to nominate two torch bearers, and Hodgson won the honour through a staff vote (the other torch bearer being a student from Haggerston School which the firm supports).
Hodgson also happens to be a superb athlete, boasting a sub-10second 100m time and apparently the Belize team is now considering him for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.