Blake Lapthorn supports four local charities in 2014

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As part of Blake Lapthorn's Charities Policy, a review of chosen office charities occurs biannually. Four new charities have been selected for support in Southampton, Portsmouth and Oxford for the New Year.

Southampton

The Haven, a national charity, provides free, one-to-one emotional and physical support and therapies to improve the lives of anyone affected by breast cancer. Their centres have specialist nurses and experts in nutrition, exercise, emotional support and complementary therapies and in-depth programmes to help with the physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer treatment.

In April 2013 the charity launched an appeal to raise funds for a fourth Haven centre in Wessex.

Susie Dryden, partner at Blake Lapthorn said: “Having struggled with breast cancer a few years ago, my family and I would have been much better placed if we could have received the support that The Haven offers.

“The Haven is raising funds for a centre in the Southampton area, where there are many families who could benefit from this, so I am delighted that we have chosen to support this excellent charity.”

Lucy Hone, Appeal Manager, Haven in Wessex, added: “We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Blake Lapthorn in 2014. This will make a huge difference to our appeal, not only by raising important funds, but also helping to spread the word about The Haven’s unique support for people affected by breast cancer.”

The Rainbow Centre supports children with Cerebral Palsy and adults with a stroke, MS and Parkinson’s disease and their families. Through a system of learning called Conductive Education the charity encourages and teaches children/participants to take an active role in their own development and inspires all children/participants to reach their full potential.

The Rainbow Centre was chosen after a personal experience of Southampton-based Blake Lapthorn IT analyst Dee Bonnick and her sister Justine Parsons. Dee’s toddler son Charlie has cerebral palsy and uses the centre.

Dee said: “It’s an amazing centre and the staff there have really helped Charlie – I’m delighted that Blake Lapthorn has chosen to support it as the centre will benefit from fundraising within the Southampton office in 2014.”

The law firm is hoping to raise £20,000 for the charities and employees are taking part in many fundraising activities this year, the first of which is an annual sponsored Swimathon at St Swithun’s School in Winchester. Also on the calendar for 2014 is a Family Fun Day and a Wear it Pink Day to raise funds for the charities.

A group of singing lawyers will find themselves on trial when they perform for judges at Southampton’s music festival.

Members of Blake Lapthorn’s choir are in rehearsals for the Southampton Festival of Music and Drama after registering to compete in the Songs from the Shows class for choirs.

Blake Lapthorn’s choir, which was formed about five years ago is made up of men and women but the performance on March 14 will be an all-female affair. The choir, which obtained its name by running a competition amongst staff, is called Habeas Chorus in reference to the ancient legal principle of habeas corpus.

The choir will perform a piece called Gerswhin for Girls, which is a medley of the classics Someone to Watch Over Me, I’ve Got a Crush on You and The Man I Love, and will follow it up with a rousing version of Climb Ev’ry Mountain from The Sound of Music.

Choir member Mary Chant, corporate and commercial solicitor partner at Blake Lapthorn, said: “We’re a very active choir and we’ve performed at some wonderful places including Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals, St Clement Danes Church and the Museum of the Order of St John in London.

“This is a bit different, though – it’s the first time we’ve been in for a music festival so we’ll be aiming to put in a performance that will impress the judges.

“The Southampton Festival of Music and Drama is a great community event and it’s a lot of fun, so we’re really looking forward to taking part.”

Portsmouth

The Rowans Hospice is a voluntary independent hospice which exists to provide specialist care to patients with life-limiting illnesses and to their relatives and carers.

Blake Lapthorn worked closely with the charity last year, raising over £1600 through fundraising activities such as a sponsored 150 length Swimathon, a royal tea party and a 12-mile moonlit walk.

Simon Burge, partner at Blake Lapthorn said: “The team has really enjoyed working with The Rowans in the past and we are delighted to be supporting them again this year. The charity helps thousands of people in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire and Blake Lapthorn is happy to support such a worthy cause.”

Ruth White, Chief Executive of the Rowans Hospice said: “We are tremendously grateful to Blake Lapthorn for their fundraising efforts and their continued support. It makes such a difference to the lives of people affected by life-limiting illnesses in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.”

Oxford

Maggie’s provides emotional, practical and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends.

The firm has been working with the charity since July 2013 and aims to raise enough money to run the new Centre at Churchill Hopsital for a week through fundraising activities such as the launch of its Great British Blake Off and a coffee and cake morning.

Christine Plews, partner at Blake Lapthorn said: “2014 marks a major milestone for Maggie’s Oxford as their new treehouse-style purpose built Centre at the Churchill Hospital will open its doors to support people with cancer and their families and friends. We are pleased to be able to support the charity at such a crucial time for them.”

Anna O’Keefe, centre fundraiser at Maggie’s Oxford said: “Everyone at Maggie’s Oxford is so grateful to Blake Lapthorn for voting us as their charity of the year. We are absolutely delighted to be working with Blake Lapthorn at such an important time for Maggie’s Oxford, with the building of the new purpose built Centre.”