Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer trainees got a taster of life on the streets yesterday by volunteering to work with Big Issue vendors.
The magic circle law firm signed-up to the Foundations Volunteer Vendor days last year, to help raise awareness and dispel the stigmas around homelessness.
Graduate recruitment partner Simon Johnson said: “It’s a useful confidence-building exercise for the trainees and gives them an early insight into the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility.
“It challenges their perceptions about the people who sell it as they build a rapport with the vendor and gain an understanding about the Big Issue. Being put in someone else’s shoes really brings them out of their comfort zone.”
The day began with a briefing hosted by GR Law on who The Big Issue Company and Foundation are and about the vendors.
Each of the 24 trainee solicitors then paired up with a vendor for up to three hours to sell at least 30 magazines.
At the end of the exercise, a feedback session was held as Freshfield’s London office to allow the volunteers to share their experiences and what they have learnt.
The Big Issue receives support from three corporates in total, which also includes Simmons & Simmons and HSBC Greater London.