The impact of the pandemic has brought unprecedented change to how we live and work. It has also led to a greater appreciation of the things we sometimes take for granted – family, food, health, work. We have been challenged in so many ways, both personally and as a business. People have responded, demonstrating resilience, empathy and innovation as we've adapted to constantly changing circumstances.
At Hogan Lovells, we have continued to support our people, our clients, and our communities, recognising that this has been a particularly tough year for some of the most vulnerable. Much of our community work has moved online, but in November, with the start of the second lockdown and reduced use of our in-house catering facilities for the foreseeable future, and working in partnership with Bartlett Mitchell we began providing practical and financial support to two London charities: The Felix Project and Food For All.
Making use of our kitchens and the skills of our catering team, we have funded and produced on-site soup for hundreds of people every day, and volunteered at distribution centres to help ensure valued food supplies reach vulnerable adults and children across London. Dedicating over 700 hours so far to soup production we've been able to supply 12,750 portions, which have been split between the Felix Project’s Enfield and Central London operations, in London going directly to hostels including St Mungos.
The Felix Project tell us 400 hours volunteered equates to 30,000kg of food rescued and 75,000 meals delivered to people in London, supporting those most in need at this critical time. Our people have worked at the charities for over 1,600 additional hours, and tell me how good it feels to be busy, feeling useful and making a difference to others where there is a real level of need, actively delivering on our commitment to being a responsible business.
While most of us will be glad to say goodbye to what has been a truly tough year, what I want to take forward are these positives: compassion and community. This year has highlighted more than ever the important societal role business plays. Protecting the wellbeing of one another must be a priority, one which our initiative shows can align business with supporting our wider communities.
For those businesses and leaders in the fortunate position to be able to do so, I urge you to be creative in thinking about how you can make a difference. It’s my belief that it is our responsibility to think beyond our own business to the positive impact we can make on society, and not just at Christmas. But wouldn’t the season of giving, with a new year on the horizon, be the perfect time to start?
Susan Bright, UK Managing Partner and Global Managing Partner for Diversity & Inclusion and Responsible Business at Hogan Lovells.
Susan - you need to put a big sign in the window on the Shoe Lane side at about the 8th floor visible from the outside in 5 ft high letters saying "This is what a proper law firm looks like" because - and I know this because I work there - the people on the other side have utterly no idea.