Blackpool based mental health support service, Stand Together and Recover (STAR), is receiving expert advice from legal specialists Bevan Brittan, thanks to social value support offered as part of its involvement with Great Places’ Legal Services Procurement Framework. Bevan Brittan responded to STAR’s request for help in securing new premises as part of its plans to provide additional support services for Blackpool residents. The new centre will provide drop-in sessions, life skills training, health workshops and a Community Café. The aim of the new base is to help reduce social isolation and provide a space offering open access to mental health support.
Bevan Brittan generously doubled their time commitment to support this worthy service. As part of the agreement, the UK top-100 national law firm will provide newly-formed charity STAR with pro bono advice on establishing a growth strategy, business planning, site searches and lease terms over the coming months. The law firm has a dedicated Community Engagement programme, which last year donated £20,000 to its local office charities. The firm also encourages employees to undertake 100 hours of pro bono legal work for local charities and not-for-profit organisations, and supports the Change 100 Apprenticeship scheme to improve accessibility to legal careers.
STAR has continued to ensure their vital service continues despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. Peer mentors have been providing virtual one-to-one and group sessions, quizzes and fundraising activities. They have grown their social media following to over 2000 and are actively supporting almost 300 people through their private group and have distributed 250 ‘packages of Hope’ during the recent pandemic.
Commenting on this welcome support, Emma Cash from STAR said:
The help that we’re getting really means a lot to us because it alleviates a lot of the anxieties we had about moving forward. We can now focus as a group towards expansion and growth and be assured we are doing it in the correct manner. We’re very grateful for the help and all feel more confident about the charity’s direction.