Corporate Responsibility: how we can help
Drystone Opportunities is also about how we can help. How we can help our local communities, how we can help those from disadvantaged backgrounds and how we can help ensure that talented people have the opportunity to succeed and gain access to the law. Members of Drystone Chambers have long been involved with local secondary schools in London and the regions at careers evenings and have organised mooting and advocacy competitions both in Schools and in Chambers. We participate in the Bar Placement Week organised through the Social Mobility Foundation to provide access to a career at the bar for high achieving children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Our members have also worked for the Bar Pro-Bono unit to assist those who find themselves without the recourse to legal representation. This is, unfortunately, an area where we find our assistance increasingly sought after with recent cuts to legal aid funding.
In 2013 we started our relationship with the NSPCC. It is a charity that seeks to protect and fight for the rights of children: something our members feel strongly about. We are proud that the NSPCC have recognised our assistance and accepted us as trusted legal advisors. We provide bro bono legal advice to the NSPCC and are glad to help with their fundraising activities.
We also have an established secondment programme with the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York. The Centre for Applied Human Rights hosts a Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. Human rights defenders risk their lives to fight injustice and strengthen democracy around the world. The United Nations has declared that they deserve special protection because of their critical work in promoting and human rights. Under the auspices of this Scheme, up to ten defenders per year are able to join the Centre for the purposes of training, networking and rest from a difficult working environment. The Human Rights Defenders come to chambers twice a year to spend a week’s placement in chambers observing significant cases with a human rights dimension.