Birmingham Post Legal Column
10 December, 2013





On Friday 29 November Birmingham Law Society (BLS) held its annual charitable event, a ‘sleepover’ in St Phillips Churchyard, for the benefit of my chosen charity, St Basils.

St Basils, based in Birmingham, works with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

I, along with the officers and chairman of the board of Birmingham Law Society, were supported by a number of other solicitors and sponsors who spent the night in cardboard boxes raising more than £4,000 for the charity.

Birmingham Law Society is privileged and committed to attempt to protect access to justice for the poor within the city, not only in the support of the provision of pro bono legal advice but, as demonstrated at our charitable event, by actively supporting members of the young and homeless within our city.

It was extremely cold during the evening and McDonalds kindly remained open to allow us the use of their facilities. On one visit to McDonalds I spoke to a young lady called Claire and explained what we were doing. A tear appeared in Claire’s eye and she offered us £1 in support of the charity.

When I asked why, it turned out that Claire had been housed and fed by St Basils and had subsequently received education and training leading to her getting a job and taking an active role in society. There could not have been a more poignant moment during the evening and I take this opportunity of thanking St Basils for their support for the displaced young in the city.

We laughed when we realised that the Duke of Cambridge had visited St Basils on the very same day and that both he and those being looked after by St Basils had all slept under a roof that night, unlike the members of BLS and sponsors who slept underneath their cardboard boxes but all of whom were proud to be associated with St Basils this Christmastime.