Gowling takes its responsibility to its people, environment and communities seriously. For the firm, corporate responsibility is all about making connections and making a difference. Not just to benefit the not-for-profits, individuals and suppliers it works with; but for the wellbeing and personal and professional development of its people and to strengthen relationships with its communities, clients and suppliers.
The firm organises several events throughout the year to this effect, including a volunteering day with The Big Issue. Below is first-year trainee Joshua’s, account of the day.
Big Issue Volunteering Day with Gowling WLG
“After having just been with the company for six weeks, we were already out volunteering, which shows how important CR is to the firm. It was also an opportunity to bond with trainees across the offices and the apprentices.
“Having been briefed at the London office by the founders of the company, we made our way to the magazine’s drop off point. There, we met our Big Issue vendor partner for the day, Carlos. Having sold the magazine for many years, he was able to share helpful tips to boost sales.
“Carlos dispersed our team of three within a busy commercial district, where we would begin selling the magazine as volunteer vendors.
“It was rather daunting at first as it required us to approach strangers and make conversation. People tend to avoid eye contact, which can be quite disheartening, and even walk out of their way to avoid you. However, I quickly made a sale and was offered £5 for a magazine, which really boosted my confidence. I made a few more sales off the back of that energy and also received multiple donations.
“It’s emotionally and physically tiring and when it started to rain after a couple of hours, I started to lose spirit. Thankfully, my team and I ended up selling out of our allotted magazines for that day.
“Overall I made £25 for my vendor partner but I also gained a humbling insight into what it’s like selling the Big Issue.
“The Big Issue vendor day was an emotional experience but I was ultimately grateful for the opportunity.”