2021 was our centenary year – 100 years since our foundation by William Jowitt in 1921
We wanted to mark the occasion in a manner that was suitably celebratory – celebrating chambers’ past, present and future – but also acknowledged our place in the world, and the very fortunate position we occupy in our society.
To that end, as well as celebratory events (more about them below), we took on our “Centenary Challenge” – a commitment to raise at least £250,000 for certain charities.
The primary focus of our Centenary Challenge was social mobility. Hence we turned to the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity, two excellent charities doing exceptional work trying to improve and promote social mobility in our society, and trying to ensure that those young people who do not presently have access to higher education and the workplace are given an opportunity to have that access. Both the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity are committed to improving the representation of under-represented groups in both higher education and in the workplace. Their work – both directly with students, through their programmes and centres, and through campaigning and policy – is hugely important work for 21st century Britain, and it was even more vital than ever in 2021, as the young people of the United Kingdom had to deal with the ongoing impact and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Brick Court Chambers committed to raising £100,000 each for the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity, and also to working with both charities, by way of work placement schemes, training events, talks and the like.
Whilst our principal focus was deliberately wider than the legal profession, we were well aware that the need remained great within the legal sector too, and Brick Court also raised money for the Access to Justice Foundation and Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit). Chambers committed to raising £50,000 for these charities.
Throughout the year (and notwithstanding the despite the lockdowns), we organised events and members and staff of chambers undertook challenges, all to raise money for our Centenary Challenge. Half marathons were run and cycling challenges undertaken. In September, large groups undertook a walking challenge on Hadrian’s Wall and along the Thames respectively. Online quizzes took place and then, when we were released, Brick Court Chambers "Come Dine with Me" was enjoyed by all those who took part. Perhaps the most memorable of the internal events was a chambers summer fete, occupying a sunny September Sunday afternoon in Middle Temple Garden.
Our clients took up the challenge with equal enthusiasm, and we are immensely grateful to all of them. Not only did they sponsor individual members of chambers in their challenges, they took part in our dragon boat racing event, and our musical quiz hosted by Tony Hawks (both of which were so popular that they will be events that we continue to run, as part of our ongoing commitment to charitable fundraising).
Also during our centenary year:
We greatly enjoyed our centenary year and our centenary celebrations. We were delighted to have spent our year working with, and for, four such excellent charities, and we are immensely proud to have raised over £265,000 (over £312,000 with gift aid) for them. And we are very pleased that our relationship with our centenary charities continues, through our work placement schemes, talks, events and mentoring.
If you want to find out more about our centenary charities, and the important work that they do, please click on the links to the right.