Leeds-based Simpson Millar has been awarded Best CSR Initiative at the HR in Law awards for helping to transform the lives of hundreds of orphaned, disabled and impoverished children in Eastern Europe
The firm was given the awards after impressing the judges with the scale of its commitment to charity, which sees two members of staff given paid leave for two weeks each year to personally deliver essential equipment and aid to some of Easter Europe’s poorest and most vulnerable children.
For the past two decades, staff from Simpson Millar have joined the Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA) annual humanitarian convoy – delivering aid, equipment and joy to some of Eastern Europe’s poorest children.
In September 2015, after months of fundraising, the seven-vehicle CWUHA convoy began a 1800-mile trip from Hull to Balti in Northern Moldova. The aim was to help transform a rundown school in Moldova into an activity centre for children and teenagers with disabilities.
The convoy was a success. On 19 September, the Moldavian Prime Minister and the British Ambassador formally opened the centre which offers physiotherapy rooms, massage therapy, sensory experiences and language therapy to around 400 children each year.
Simpson Millar’s managing director, Peter Watson, is a long-term supporter of the CWUHA. He has joined the convoy on more than one occasion and seen first-hand the difference the project makes.
“Although I am delighted that our support for the CWUHA has been recognised with an award, the more important recognition is in helping to make a profound and real impact on the lives of children and their families,” he said.
“The difference this convoy makes to some of Europe’s most impoverished and vulnerable children is one that spurs on great fundraising efforts and generosity from my colleagues across the firm each year. I am not surprised that the judges were gripped by the Phoenix project and huge credit to James and Julie for giving their time, effort and compassion to both the fundraising and as part of the convoy.
“Being part of a humanitarian convoy is a very humbling experience and one which two new colleagues will experience as they hit the road on behalf of everyone at Simpson Millar this September. It is safe to say that this project has absolutely both benefited communities and touched the lives of people within the firm.”