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by Gail Taylor, Diversity & Community Engagement Manager for DWF LLP

dwf 5star 2016 

Our Business Blogs are an honest insight into the partnerships we have with businesses all over the UK and the impact we help them to have in their communities. This first post for 2017 explains how, with our support, DWF are expanding their highly successful 5 STAR Futures programme.


We are delighted this year to be working with Swallow Hill Community College and Ahead Partnership on our award winning 5 STAR Futures education programme.

The programme has got off to a fantastic start with the cohort of students, supported by Bryan Pearce at the school and the team at Ahead Partnership who are very supportive and enthusiastic, together with our volunteers at DWF who are helping to deliver the programme.

5 STAR Futures is our award-winning community education programme originally created in 2012. We have won awards from Business in the Community, Liverpool Law Society and Manchester Law Society. The purpose of the scheme is to enable aspirational young people to unlock their potential by developing their confidence and employability skills to become more work-ready and understand the business environment.

To launch the programme our course leader in Leeds Carrie Pearson, who is an Associate in our Insurance Fraud Division, went along to a school assembly to talk about 5 STAR and what it involved.

From this initial introduction we were pleased to welcome 15 students on this year's cohort and to date we have delivered three two-hour workshops, each focusing on a different topic: workplace behaviours, aspiration and confidence. We have two more workshops to run and then the final presentation evening which takes place in April.

All of the 15 students have achieved 100% attendance so far and we have had 14 different volunteers from DWF ranging from associates to trainees and paralegals as well as support staff from our facilities and events teams. Feedback has been excellent from the coaches and the school with everyone saying they would recommend the 5 STAR Futures programme.

Following this success we are also pleased to be launching our 5 STAR Early Years programme. This again will focus on aspirations and plant the seeds of working hard to achieve ambitions, this time aimed at junior school level. The sessions will be varied and interactive and will include many subjects such as workplace behaviours, teamwork and the skills required in different roles.

We are very pleased to have identified Parklands Primary School to work with when we launch in early 2017. We first connected with the school when we went along in May 2016 to take part in Give & Gain Day, taking a team of volunteers along to help with outdoor tasks. We are also very pleased to already be working with Parklands Primary school on their Right to Read scheme.  We look forward to working with the Head, Chris Dyson, and the team at Parklands and importantly the pupils on this next exciting phase of 5 STAR.

We now feel that the relationships with both these schools will go from strength to strength and we are pleased to receive the support we need from Ahead Partnership as we continue our CSR work with our local communities.

Find out more about DWF's community commitments and their 5 STAR Futures programme on their website by clicking here >>

You can also follow their progress live on our Twitter feed by clicking here or following #MaketheGrade.


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