Katryn Mercer, Trainee Solicitor, recently visited one of the community groups supported by Forever Manchester. Express Solicitors helps fund community groups with £4,000 per year and we were interested to learn more about some of the groups who benefit. Katryn Mercer was among a group of our employees benefited from some media training provided by Forever Manchester in order to visit the group and talk more about their purpose in order to highlight the value to the community.
Autism Support UK (ASUK) started with a Saturday School for children and their families and provides a supportive environment for children with autism to learn and develop. Now they also run a weekly after-school club, the Bolton Lego© Club.
ASUK is about teaching skills, “it’s about making a life a little bit easier for both the child and the parent” says ASUK’s Founder Linzi Tropea who is also a parent of a child with Autism. “Many children have behaviours that may challenge, that affect the child, their schooling and impact on family life.”
At ASUK, the children are grouped by Target reach and needs, rather than age. They work on specific areas, like communication skills, putting in for some children a communication system such as PECS – Picture Exchange Communication. Other sessions they hope to do in the future will be aimed at helping both child and parents with toilet training or food behaviours.
With help and funding support, ASUK are able to employ Behavioural Consultants who establish Behaviour Development Plans and teach the child alternative behaviours. But it’s not just about the child; by coaching the parents how to work on the targets and reinforcement, there are positive changes for all the family.
Monday’s Lego© Club is a social communication group run after school and aimed at children between the ages of 8 to 14, with a maximum of 12 children per session. There is only one criteria for attendance – the child must be able to speak in sentences, as this specific group is to encourage conversations with their peer group.
Using children’s natural affinity with Lego©, the Club helps to develop social interactions. The activity is natural play and there is nothing forced and demanded of the children.
The thing that Linzi loves most about the Lego© therapy is that “there is no pressure on a child to speak, because the children are focusing on the Lego© the talking comes naturally.”
In the Lego© Club everyone’s abilities are different. M and O are able to sit at the table, E prefers to work with Lego© on the floor and there are others like F who find it hard to engage for long periods of time and need prompting to engage in an activity.
There are a number of young volunteers Anna, Dom, Zara, Aimee & Greg who along with Rob, a trained Lego Technician and Behavioural tutor, and Sean his assistant that steer the group play. The club is overseen by Linzi who spends time with the parents while their child is in session.
As well as encouraging the children to talk with the support workers, and each other, there is a “small steps” approach to helping a child find alternative behaviours. Those who cannot sit are encouraged to try to sit for 3 seconds, then next week it will be 4 seconds, then 10 seconds and so on. Rather than giving a child a daunting target which they are likely to fail, those small steps mean they can succeed, and the positive encouragement keeps them going.
O prefers his hood up and doesn’t like people in his space. When he attended the last block of Lego© Club he barely spoke. These sessions he still prefers to work alone but will ask for assistance and is keen to show off his technical creations…. And demonstrate how his new voice-changer machine works.
“His building skills are amazing, he created a piston lift shaft with moving parts,” says Rob.
Brothers and sisters can also join in the fun at Lego© club and parents spoke of the value that they themselves get from the sessions. Whilst the children are building Lego©, parents have a chance to sit and talk with others who understand what it is really like and who face similar challenges to their own. Bolton Lego© Club, it’s helping the whole family!
Sunday 6th May saw two of our Solicitors take on the Tour Du Manc. This is advertised as 100 miles of Blood Sweat and Gears. They were not wrong in the sweltering heat of the May bank Holiday weekend Ryan Postlethwaite and Eleanor Turton took to the saddle and set out on this mammoth ride. Starting At David Lloyds in North Manchester the riders head into wards Manchester and south onto Stockport. Heading East the riders head for Marple and the first climb of the Day up Dan Bank a 6.3% gradient (Not easy I used to try to do it as a child) then down into Marple bridge ready for the next two climbs to the top of Werneth Low and the first feeding station at 21 miles. Only 1/5 of the way. Coming down off Werneth Low knowing that that was the last of the steep climbs, the riders head off towards Mottram and turning left towards Stalybridge taking in the 1-kilometre climb to Roe cross before the long decent into Stalybridge. Then it’s off towards Mosley taking in the next feeding station. Heading towards the dark place they call Delph to the east of Oldham which the farthest eastly point of the ride. Westward bound now heading to Milnrow and Rochdale for the third feeding station and take on electrolytes and energy bars and then turning north towards Rawtenstall the farthest north thy would have to go. South now towards Edgworth and Turton then west towards Rivington Down past Haigh Hall and back up to Horwich before turning east again and heading towards Bury knowing that all that was needed was that last final push on the peddles before seeing the finish line back in John Lloyds North Manchester. 100 miles done right round Manchester and a lot of very tired legs.
It took Ryan and Eleanor 7 hours and 33 minutes to do the 100 miles and all for the fantastic Forever Manchester.
Ryan said at the finish, “It really was a tremendous day on the bike! With highs of 28°C, it was a very tough day in the saddle (especially given the amount of climbing on the route!) but it was worth it for the stunning views of our amazing city and for such a great cause in Forever Manchester.”
Express Solicitors were proud to be nominated for “Business Supporter of the Year” at the recent Birthday Bash for Forever Manchester. Express Solicitors were also the main sponsor of the event and very proud to be associated with this wonderful charity and see some of the community groups in action such as Strictly Wheels, Mature Movers and String Infusion. It was a wonderful evening and we look forward to working with Forever Manchester in the coming year. This is the third year that we have sponsored the Birthday Bash. Its great to see so many companies from Manchester coming together to support smaller community groups and small charities. Having sat in of the funding meeting where we get to find out who is asking for money and why they want it is a heart-warming experience. From community dance organisations to groups of older people who meet to chat and Knit. All have value in the surrounding communities and all need that little bit of help to keep going. Its an honour to be associated with Forever Manchester who facilitate so much good to such diverse smaller organisations. A massive £70,000 was raised on the night from the silent Auction and raffle ticket sales.
On you marks: Express Reporters are Go!
In a brand new initiative with charity partners Forever Manchester, our bold and intrepid staff are poised to go and visit some of the community groups supported by Forever Manchester and indirectly through the fantastic fund-raising work done by Express Solicitors – we have raised over £50,000 for this worthwhile charity in the 3 years we’ve supported them, to date. We are so fantastically proud of all our employees who do amazing things to raise money.
On this picture you can see: Group ICT Trainer, Tanya Atkinson, Clinical Negligence Litigation Executive, Sebastien Reyes, Personal Injury Solicitor, Jennifer Lutton, Occupier and Public Liability Legal Secretary, Denicia Benjamin & Occupier and Public Liability Trainee Solicitor, Clare Hurst.
Our volunteers are spearheading a brand new initiative to report back on a range of community groups such as Young Women’s Adventure Club though Empowerment, Tyldesley Allotments Grow for Giving, Higher Tonge Over 50’s Club, plus many more including a choir and mental health support groups. That’s why we love to support Forever Manchester, the range of groups to support is endless.
Our reporters will be uncovering how the funds have helped make a real difference to real lives and writing up their experiences. Watch this space as we’ll be visiting community groups soon!
Employees at Express Solicitors have dug deep and donated 6 boxes of toys for the Frost Foundation which is a charity that helps children and teenagers in the Greater Manchester area who are disadvantaged by illness, circumstance or lack of money. In particular, they support children with disabilities and those living in poverty to help them live their lives to the full.
Our partner charity, Forever Manchester kindly collected the toys and will donate them to the Frost Foundation on our behalf. We help people every day at Express Solicitors and delighted to extend this support to the wider community especially at this time of year which can bring its own pressures and expectations.
We were delighted to also send a cheque for £279 to Forever Manchester from the Christmas Jumper day and donations from those of us not sending Christmas cards this year. As you can see it was a very good turnout for the festive knits!
Ged Murray from Forever Manchester accepted the donated toys from Express’s very own Sheila Houghton and Clare Hennessy. Saying “Thanks to all your wonderful colleagues who contributed to the generous and kind donations”
We hope everyone has a very merry Christmas.
Forever Manchester is one of Express Solicitors nominated charities.
Express Solicitors recently held an award panel which we run twice a year with our charity partner, Forever Manchester. We prioritise applications from Northenden and Wythenshawe but as we have employees based across the greater Manchester area, we will always look at deserving causes throughout the region.
On Saturday 17th September 2016, fourteen very brave members of staff from Express Solicitors faced their fears and did a tandem Sky dive in aid of Forever Manchester at Black Knights parachute centre.
Eleven of them jumped from 11000 feet and three others took the plunge from 15000 feet.
It was an amazing day, the weather and the scenery was gorgeous. Luckily, nobody suffered any personal injuries and they all landed safe and sound!
All members of staff funded the jump themselves and also guaranteed to give £50 to Forever Manchester.
We have actually raised so far £1607.39 which is a fantastic achievement.
On Friday 18th March 2016, a team of 3 from Express, having raised a very impressive £400 for Forever Manchester took part in the 120ft abseil from the top of Lancashire Cricket Ground.
Becky Stevens, Maxine Holgate and Muneeb Karolia bravely volunteered to complete the 120ft descent and all were victorious. We would like to thank each of them for raising such a wonderful amount for the Forever Manchester Charity and to all their friends and family who offered their support in donations, well done!
Express Solicitors Wins corporate Supporter of the Year at the Forever Manchester Birthday Bash.
Carole Jones and Daniel Slade accompanied by staff of Express Solicitors where proud to receive the award for the Corporate Supporter of the year at a glittering ball at the Palace Hotel in Manchester on Friday 5th February 2016. See some pictures below.
In November 2015, Express Solicitors awarded £500 grants to three local community groups via Forever Manchester.
The firm created an Express Solicitors fund with Forever Manchester and encouraged local community groups to apply for £500 grants. The following three groups were chosen for funding: King William IV Angling Society, Manchester Lions Junior Sports Club, and YP Potential.
On Friday 30th October 2015, Express Solicitors took part in Caketober to raise money for Forever Manchester. As Caketober was hosted a day before Halloween, the firm decided to go for a spooky theme and bakers were encouraged to give their treats scary names.Express Solicitors’ Caketober day raised an impressive £313.60 which has been donated to Forever Manchester.
On 25th July 2015, employees at Express Solicitors were treated to a summer party at Managing Partner, James Maxey’s house in Winsford.
During the party a charity raffle was held to raise money for one of the firm’s nominated charities – Forever Manchester. There were some fantastic prizes up for grabs! 1st prize was a weekend in a Range Rover, 2nd prize was a flat screen TV, and 3rd prize was 4 Disney on Ice tickets. Other prizes included; an extra day’s paid holiday, Alton Towers theme park tickets, an £80 experience voucher, dinner at Albert’s restaurant, champagne, and chocolates.
Overall the raffle was a huge success and there were a number of lucky winners! The raffle managed to raise over £1,000.
On May 10th 2015, a team of 16 Express employees took part in the Great Manchester 10k run to raise funds for Forever Manchester. Overall, the day was a huge success and most importantly the running team managed to raise an impressive £3,105 for Forever Manchester beating their original target of £2,850.
In April 2015, Express Solicitors awarded £500 grants to three local community groups based in Northenden and Wythenshawe through Forever Manchester.
The firm created an Express Solicitors fund with Forever Manchester and encouraged local community groups to apply for £500 grants. After much deliberation the following three groups were chosen: Simply Cycling, Wythenshawe Community Farm, and 5th Northern Moor Brownie Unit.
At Christmas (2014), Express Solicitors kindly donated £750 to Forever Manchester to help local communities in need over the festive season. Marketing Executive at Express Solicitors, Amy Hacking, is pictured below delivering the cheque to Ged Murray and Gayle Gamble at the Forever Manchester HQ.
On Friday 31st October 2014, Forever Manchester hosted a Halloween Spooktacular Ball in Halle St Peters Church, Ancoats. Express Solicitors’ were headline sponsors of the event, showing their continued commitment to the organisation as one of the firm’s nominated charities.
On the same day as the Spooktacular event, employees at Express Solicitors took part in Caketober to raise money for Forever Manchester. Caketober is a month long celebration of cakes and fancy dress where companies put on a bake sale and dress down day to raise funds for Forever Manchester. Express Solicitors’ caketober day raised an impressive £319.44 which has been donated to Forever Manchester.
Express Solicitors have awarded £500 grants to four local community groups based in Northenden and Wythenshawe through Forever Manchester.
The firm created an Express Solicitors fund with Forever Manchester and encouraged local community groups to apply for £500 grants. After much deliberation the following four groups were chosen: 4th Newall Green Brownie Group, The Generation Project, Wythenshawe Community Media, & Tudor Rosette Morris Dancers. (Pictured above are members of the Express internal panel who helped to choose which groups the grants would be awarded to).
On Saturday 6th September a team of 5 from Express raised an amazing £1,013 (202% over target) for Forever Manchester by completing a charity abseil at the Printworks in Manchester city centre.
On Wednesday 20th August 2014, Marketing Executive at Express Solicitors, Amy Hacking, appeared on the Forever Manchester radio show. The show is broadcast on a number of stations including Manchester Radio Online and LDOK radio.
Amy talked about the work done by Express Solicitors and also spoke about the firm’s connection with Forever Manchester and the exciting fundraisers scheduled to take place over the next couple of months
During this year’s Summer party a charity raffle was held to raise money for the Forever Manchester charity. There were some fantastic prizes up for grabs that were supplied by the partners for the raffle. 1st prize was a weekend in an Aston Martin DB9, 2nd prize was a flat screen TV, and 3rd prize was a £200.00 red letter day voucher.
Other prizes included chocolates, champagne, whiskey, a car valet, and an evening on the driving range with Partner, Richard Lowery. Overall the raffle was a huge success and there were a number of lucky winners! The raffle managed to raise an impressive £640.00 which has been donated to the firm’s nominated charity – Forever Manchester.
HR Manager, Carole Jones visited the charity with Marketing Executive, Amy Hacking to discuss ways in which the firm can help the Forever Manchester charity. It has been decided that the area of Northenden will be the primary focus for Express Solicitors’ charity work since it will directly help members of the community in the local area.