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Award win for our Global Charity Partnership with War Child

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Kate Cavelle
Kate Cavelle

Head of Pro Bono & Comm. Inv.


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24 May 2019

The Business Charity Awards have recognised our record-breaking partnership

Our Global Charity Partnership with War Child won the “charity partnership – legal” prize at the 2019 Business Charity Awards, which celebrates the significant contribution made by companies to UK charities and social enterprises. This partnership, which ended in October last year, saw people from across A&O donate over GBP1.5 million to War Child – over GBP600,000 more than we’ve ever raised for a charity partner before.

Our impact

Approximately a third of the money – GBP500,000 - fully funded War Child’s Rescue Childhood project in Emirati Camp in Jordan. The project offers protection, psychological support and education for 2,310 Syrian children in the camp. About 1,185 parents and caregivers are also benefiting from the project, which will end in July 2019. The work has been such a success that it’s now set the standard for early childhood care and development in the Jordanian national curriculum.

The rest of the funds were given to War Child to use flexibly where they were most needed. This kind of funding helped War Child provide emergency support for the Yazidi people in Iraq at a time when all other NGOs were being forced to withdraw from the country due to lack of funding. War Child also expanded its youth advocacy programme in Jordan and Uganda, and designed a new football-based programme called War Child FC in Central African Republic thanks to our support.

As well as funding War Child’s work in the field, the flexible funding was also used to strengthen the charity’s own operations – for example, it invested in its video gaming team, which is expected to generate over GBP1 million in income in 2019.

Also, people from across our global network provided War Child with pro bono and volunteering support throughout partnership: on the legal side, ranging from advice on electoral rules in the run-up to the UK general election, to commercial, IP and employment matters; and, on the non-legal side, translation support, graphic design and presentation skills training.

The largest pro bono project has been a review of War Child’s safeguarding policies and procedures in the wake of serious complaints made against other charities at the start of 2018. While War Child was not associated with any of those complaints, A&O teams have helped to review its safeguarding policies and governance framework – including on recruitment, training and security – to ensure its practices meet the highest standards.

Long-lasting support

Speaking about last night’s award win, Nicola Bott, one of the judges and Head of partnership development at the Teenage Cancer Trust said, "a great example of a charity of the year partnership. Clear engagement, for a difficult cause, with lots of fundraising opportunities as well as volunteering and gifts in kind."

Rob Williams, CEO of War Child said, “we’re delighted that Rescue Childhood has been recognised by the Business Charity Awards as the best charity partnership in the legal sector. This success has been hard earned by teams at Allen & Overy and War Child, and the real reward is that we have been able achieve incredible impact for children in conflict zones. I would like to personally thank the huge number of people who have contributed to the partnership from offices around the world. You can rest assured that I will be showing off our win with pride.”

Watch the video about our partnership.