Clifford Chance Intelligent Aid winner donates cheque to Bethnal Green charity

The winner of Clifford Chance’s Intelligent Aid competition, which sees participants win a summer vac scheme and guaranteed training contract interview with the firm, has presented her chosen charity with £1,000.

As the overall winner of the scheme, University of Exeter politics and philosophy Jessica Bryant, also won £5,000 towards her university costs and £1,000 to donate to a charity of her choice.

She chose to donate the money to It’s Your Life, a Bethnal Green-based charity which focuses on improving the lives of its residents by taking a holistic approach to improving family life rather than focusing on a single age group. It provides classes, mentoring and advice to local residents.

The charity, which is already supported by Clifford Chance, receives no government or council funding and is dependent on donations for survival.

It’s Your Life CEO Jackie Barnes said: “It’s Your Life was originally run as a young people’s project, helping those who had been expelled from school or were known to police.

“But we realised after a couple of years that to really help those children we needed to take a more holistic approach by starting to work with families with young children, helping to prevent problems occurring in the first place.”

Bryant said: “You can see how It’s Your Life alleviates so many social problems, often helping to prevent them entirely. Creating equal opportunities for young people is something I feel passionate about. I have worked in the Citizens Advice Bureau before and have seen the problems people experience, which could often be avoided if there were more schemes such as this.”

Barnes added: “£1,000 to a charity such as this is massive. One-off gifts like Clifford Chance’s donation tend to fund one-off costs.

“For example, one of the teenagers we were helping had been living in a homeless shelter for two years but had recently been admitted to the University of Leeds. We bought him the items he would need to start university as he had no way of buying them or bringing anything from home.”