Emma Woollcott, Partner at Hestia's corporate partner Mishcon de Reya, on her team's involvement with Hestia; from taking part in obstacle course challenge event Rough Runner to building a climbing frame at one of our domestic abuse refuges.

When selecting a charity partner to work with, the Private Department at Mishcon de Reya had several aims.

We wanted to be able to support people in our local community, and to learn about the issues they were facing. We wanted to work together as a team to fundraise, and we were also keen to focus our efforts so that we could spend meaningful time with service users and contribute to something which would have lasting impact for families in need in London.

Meeting the partnerships team at Hestia, we were confident that we had found exactly that. They listened to our priorities and we quickly developed a plan of exciting activities for the year which we would get involved in.

Between running a Rough Runner and hosting an indoor cycle race in the office, we were delighted to raise funds for the Summer Play Scheme, and to fund the renovation of a garden in their Hackney refuge.

A day which really stands out for me was when we accompanied families from a range of refuges to London Zoo. The mothers were visibly anxious about being in an unfamiliar environment, but the children were beyond excited. I spent the day pushing a buggy for a mum with a child the same age as my own – and we had so much in common that we chatted all day. It was wonderful to connect with her as a mum, despite our different life experiences, and to give her an opportunity to focus on enjoying the zoo with her child.

Emma Woollcott, Partner at Hestia's corporate partner Mishcon de Reya

A couple of weeks later, my team arrived at the same refuge where she had stayed, and from where she had started to rebuild her life.

We wanted to renovate the garden; to create a healing space for the mums and a fun place for the children to run around and be kids again.  The task was much bigger than we had realised, but I am so proud of what we achieved.

The faces of the women and children when they walked outside for their first summer BBQ will stay with me for a very long time.

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