Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has announced its new charity partners in Southampton including Solent Mind, Solent Youth Action and City Reach Youth Project. The firm will be supporting all three charities through fundraising, volunteering and raising awareness.

Solent Mind is Hampshire’s leading mental health charity providing support, advice and information to anyone experiencing mental health issues in the community.

Solent Youth Action (SYA) is a youth provision charity supporting vulnerable people between the ages of 10 and 25. SYA empowers young people to develop as individuals, enjoy new challenges and make positive contributions to the community through volunteering, social action and active citizenship.

City Reach Youth Project offers children and young people free, open-access play and youth sessions, run by experienced and qualified professionals, to provide a safe space to have fun, make friends and try new activities.

Nikki Powell, cohead of responsible business in WBD’s Southampton office, comments: “Developing and nurturing long lasting relationships is core to our philosophy. When it comes to our responsible business strategy, this translates into true collaboration and partnership working to achieve maximum social impact.”

Emilie Gas, who alongside Nikki, heads up the responsible business committee at WBD in Southampton, adds: “We’re thrilled to be working with all our new charity partners, to raise awareness of the inspiring work they do for our communities, and to support them through high-impact fundraising, volunteering and mentoring initiatives. Our new partners fit in perfectly with what our responsible business objectives hope to achieve in the areas of the 3Es: Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship as well as social inclusion. We look forward to working with them to make systemic and sustainable change in our communities.”

Jo Silsbury, Corporate Liaison at Solent Mind, says: “We’re delighted to be Womble Bond Dickinson’s charity of the year. Solent Mind supports over 40,000 people each year in Hampshire through our network of wellbeing centres, talking therapies, groups and specialist one to one support. Partnerships like this ensure we can reach and support even more people so local people who have a mental health problem have somewhere to turn for advice and support.”

WBD is already heavily involved in a strong responsible business programme in Southampton, supporting a number of charities, community projects and initiatives. Last year the firm joined the COVID-19 emergency response and pledged thousands of pounds to support a number of charities across the region and also worked with local schools to bridge the digital divide, donating a large number of laptops to support those pupils home-schooling who have no access to technology.

In an effort to tackle food poverty throughout the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, the firm also donated £30,000 to foodbanks and other food charities across the UK.

Ranking in the UK’s top 20 law firms, WBD is the transatlantic law firm close to home with a large office in Southampton where around 150 people are based.