Cygnet Law gives the gift of giving to The Junction

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Cygnet Law is channelling the charitable spirit of Christmas to help support vulnerable young people in Tees Valley.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the team at the Redcar-based legal firm collected presents for an initiative organised by The Junction Foundation, a local charity, which provides support to vulnerable, children, young people and their families across the region.

The gifts will be given directly to children and families in the community who may need an act of kindness during the festive period, including those who find themselves without a home, are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, young carers and young parents.

Lawrence McAnelly, Chief Executive at The Junction Foundation, said: “The Christmas period is a time for celebrating with friends and family, but for many young people in Tees Valley this is not the case.

“Last December we worked with 243 young people and children from the region, and have seen a 25 percent year on year increase in the numbers of people we have been working with. We expect similar numbers this year. These are youngsters who, through no fault of their own, might not have a merry Christmas.

“Thanks to Cygnet Law, we will be able to put a smile on the face of some of the amazing young people we support. Just a small token can be enough to let someone know that there are people out there who care about them, which can make all the difference.”

Stacey Phoenix, a solicitor at Cygnet Law, said: “Cygnet’s work means that we often see first-hand the unfortunate circumstances in which some people find themselves, some of whom receive support from The Junction. I know from my own experiences that The Junction does fantastic work, which has a massive impact when it comes to improving the lives of young vulnerable people in the area.”

Legal expert joins mental health charity’s board

stacey phoenix

Cygnet Law’s Stacey Phoenix has joined the Board of Directors of local mental health charity, Redcar & Cleveland Mind.

In her Trustee position, Stacey, a solicitor at Redcar-based Cygnet Family Law, will be involved in the executive decision-making process about the organisation’s future direction and strategy.

Cygnet Law, which offers specialist mental health related legal services, already has strong connections with Redcar & Cleveland Mind. At its first annual walk to raise money for the charity, partners at the legal firm signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, which marks its commitment to tackling mental health stigma and fostering a positive working environment.

Stacey Phoenix said: “I’m very proud to be joining the Board of Redcar and Cleveland Mind. As someone who’s lived all my life in Redcar I’m delighted that my work as a Trustee will enable me to bring real influence to an organisation that changes the lives of the people in my own community.

Through my work at Cygnet Law I have seen first-hand the fantastic work that Redcar & Cleveland Mind do with local people to help them address their mental health problems.

“I’m looking forward to helping shape the future of Redcar & Cleveland Mind, spreading the word about the impact of its work, and helping to ensure that this amazing charity is able to continue to provide much needed support to the people of Redcar and Cleveland.”

Redcar & Cleveland Mind’s Chair, Samantha Tullock, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have Stacey joining our Board. It’s so important to us to have knowledgeable local people like Stacey who can bring additional skills and expertise to the governance of our organisation. Charities need exceptional Trustees who can ensure that we deliver the very best outcomes for our beneficiaries. Cygnet, but Stacey in particular, have been great advocates for the work that we do here, so we’re delighted that she’s joining our team.

If you are interested in improving the mental health of your employees Redcar & Cleveland Mind can provide you with bespoke training to help you in developing best practice. Contact Louise Tierney, Training Coordinator, on 01642 296052 or email info@rcmind.org. For information about the Time to Change Employer Pledge visit:

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/employer-pledge

Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Cygnet Law launches appeal for domestic violence charity

Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Cygnet Law has launched a shoe box appeal to coincide with the first anniversary of the UK’s first specialist safe house for older victims of domestic violence, Eva Women’s Aid’s 45+ Safe House

To mark the milestone, the Redcar-based law firm is creating arrival packages for the charity’s clients, which contain hygiene products and toiletries. Cygnet’s offices on West Dyke Road is also acting as a donation point for any individuals and businesses in the town who wish to contribute.

The Safe House is the only domestic violence refuge in the UK that is specifically aimed at women over the age of 45, and offers temporary housing for up to four women at a time.

Cygnet already works closely with Eva Women’s Aid to offer the charity’s users free legal advice sessions on domestic violence, contact and separation issues, and other family legal matters.

Gemma Brooks, an associate solicitor and member of Resolution First for Family Law, specialises in cases involving domestic violence, said: “Cygnet Law is proud to support a local charity that provides invaluable support to help women and children escape abuse.

“A great deal of the women and children who come to Eva’s House who come to EVA Women’s Aid for help, come with little more than the clothes on their back, and, as they’re often coming from controlling relationships, they don’t have access to finance.

“All toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner, sanitary products and deodorants make welcome contributions and can be dropped off at our offices on West Dyke Road.”

Richinda Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at EVA Women’s Aid, said: “We are very grateful to have Cygnet’s support. As Gemma says, often women fleeing abuse have nothing so we always give them a toiletries package when they arrive, plus underwear and pyjamas, and some basic food items. We constantly need these replacing so the shoe-box appeal will be a great help to EVA Women’s Aid”

J Ford

Cygnet Law offers cohabiting couples advice

J Ford

Cygnet Family Law is warning of complications following a relationship breakdown after the news that more Britons than ever are cohabiting without being married or in a civil partnership.

According to the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, the number of people aged 16 and over who were “cohabiting, never married or civil partnered” increased from 6.8% in 2002 to 9.5% in 2015.

Redcar’s Cygnet Law, which specialises in Family Law, is offering free consultations for couples who are unsure about the legal ramifications of cohabitation, or want to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement.

It is also able to facilitate the adoption of a partner’s child, change a home deed, change of name and adjust wills to reflect living and financial arrangements.

Janet Ford, Family Law Specialist at Cygnet Law, said: “As the number of people cohabiting has risen so has the number of disputes caused by relationship breakdowns. It may not be romantic to ask your partner to draw up an agreement in case you break up, but it will prevent a lot of heartache should you end up parting ways.

“There are also benefits of having an agreement in place whilst you are still together. It can prevent disputes and infighting by predefining responsibilities, such as who pays for what and who owns what, which can help stop resentment from building when one party feels it is carrying the other.

“Whilst the law around visitation and custody of children is fairly clear cut, the law around custody of pets is a bit murkier. Many people view their pets as their children, and as partners tend to share in responsibilities and costs of keeping a pet, ownership can become an emotional minefield if one side decides to use it as a weapon following a relationship breakdown.

“It’s not all doom and gloom though. We are also able to help couples to change the ownership of their home to include a partner and become the legal guardian of their partner’s children. In essence, becoming a married couple in all but name.”

To book your free 30 minute consultation with a family law expert at Cygnet Law’s West Dyke Road offices please call 01642 777680 or email enquiries@cygnetlaw.co.uk.

ONS stats can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/bulletins/populationestimatesbymaritalstatusandlivingarrangements/2002to2015#the-population-who-are-single-never-married-or-civil-partnered-are-increasingly-cohabiting

Cygnet Law launches appeal for domestic violence charity

Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

 

Cygnet Law has launched a shoe box appeal to coincide with the first anniversary of the UK’s first specialist safe house for older victims of domestic violence, Eva Women’s Aid’s 45+ Safe House

To mark the milestone, the Redcar-based law firm is creating arrival packages for the charity’s clients, which contain hygiene products and toiletries. Cygnet’s offices on West Dyke Road is also acting as a donation point for any individuals and businesses in the town who wish to contribute.

The Safe House is the only domestic violence refuge in the UK that is specifically aimed at women over the age of 45, and offers temporary housing for up to four women at a time.

Cygnet already works closely with Eva Women’s Aid to offer the charity’s users free legal advice sessions on domestic violence, contact and separation issues, and other family legal matters.

Gemma Brooks, an associate solicitor and member of Resolution First for Family Law, specialises in cases involving domestic violence, said: “Cygnet Law is proud to support a local charity that provides invaluable support to help women and children escape abuse.

“A great deal of the women and children who come to Eva’s House who come to EVA Women’s Aid for help, come with little more than the clothes on their back, and, as they’re often coming from controlling relationships, they don’t have access to finance.

“All toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner, sanitary products and deodorants make welcome contributions and can be dropped off at our offices on West Dyke Road.”

Richinda Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at EVA Women’s Aid, said: “We are very grateful to have Cygnet’s support. As Gemma says, often women fleeing abuse have nothing so we always give them a toiletries package when they arrive, plus underwear and pyjamas, and some basic food items. We constantly need these replacing so the shoe-box appeal will be a great help to EVA Women’s Aid”

Cygnet Law welcomes new female judge statistics

stacey phoenix 

Cygnet Law has welcomed newly published figures highlighting a growth in the number of females in judicial roles, especially in the North East.

The figures published by the Office of National Statistics show that the North East – with 30% female judges – has a greater proportion of female judges than any other region in England and Wales, with the exception of the South East.

During the 12 months to April, the percentage of female judges in courts increased from 25% to 28%, whilst in tribunal courts the number of women judges remained consistent at 45percent.

Women now make up 51% of court judges aged under 40, which when compared to the 16% of judges aged over 60, suggests that the overall proportion of female judges will continue to increase over the coming years.

Stacey Phoenix, a Solicitor at Cygnet Law, said: “Law is a sector that has traditionally been male dominated, and it’s inspiring to see so many women working to tackle that inequality, especially here in the North East.

“At Cygnet Law, our team is mostly made up of younger female legal professionals, so it is fantastic to see that we are representative of the sector as a whole. Of our eight solicitors, five are female and of our six legal assistants, four are women, but all of them, no matter their gender, are equally as capable of doing their job to highest standards.

“Whilst the number of women in judicial roles is still too low, it’s great to see that the gender balance is beginning to right itself at such a high level, and I’m particularly pleased to see more women under 40 coming up through the ranks.

“It’s important that our legal system reflects the population over which it presides, and having a gender balance is a positive step towards achieving that. In Teesside we have a high standing of female judges within the judiciary, such as our Designated Family Judge, Her Honour Judge Matthews QC, who is living proof how far female judges can go.

“These latest statistics demonstrate the shape of the legal future and it’s important that we continue to make the legal profession a positive career prospect for young women.”

Cygnet Law offers cohabiting couples advice

J Ford

 Cygnet Family Law is warning of complications following a relationship breakdown after the news that more Britons than ever are cohabiting without being married or in a civil partnership.

According to the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, the number of people aged 16 and over who were “cohabiting, never married or civil partnered” increased from 6.8% in 2002 to 9.5% in 2015.

Redcar’s Cygnet Law, which specialises in Family Law, is offering free consultations for couples who are unsure about the legal ramifications of cohabitation, or want to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement.

It is also able to facilitate the adoption of a partner’s child, change a home deed, change of name and adjust wills to reflect living and financial arrangements.

Janet Ford, Family Law Specialist at Cygnet Law, said: “As the number of people cohabiting has risen so has the number of disputes caused by relationship breakdowns. It may not be romantic to ask your partner to draw up an agreement in case you break up, but it will prevent a lot of heartache should you end up parting ways.

“There are also benefits of having an agreement in place whilst you are still together. It can prevent disputes and infighting by predefining responsibilities, such as who pays for what and who owns what, which can help stop resentment from building when one party feels it is carrying the other.

“Whilst the law around visitation and custody of children is fairly clear cut, the law around custody of pets is a bit murkier. Many people view their pets as their children, and as partners tend to share in responsibilities and costs of keeping a pet, ownership can become an emotional minefield if one side decides to use it as a weapon following a relationship breakdown.

“It’s not all doom and gloom though. We are also able to help couples to change the ownership of their home to include a partner and become the legal guardian of their partner’s children. In essence, becoming a married couple in all but name.”

To book your free 30 minute consultation with a family law expert at Cygnet Law’s West Dyke Road offices please call 01642 777680 or email enquiries@cygnetlaw.co.uk.

Cygnet Law becomes first law firm in the North East to sign mental health pledge

Cygnet Law has become the first law firm to sign up Mind’s ‘Time to Change’ employer pledge, after completing its inaugural charity beach walk, which raised more than £500 for Redcar & Cleveland Mind.

Partners at the Redcar-based law firm, which offers specialist mental health law advice and services, signed pledge in the presence of Redcar MP, Anna Turley, who also participated in the walk, along with more than 35 other people.

By signing the pledge, Cygnet Law demonstrate to employees, clients and the public that the business is taking action to address the stigma and discrimination around mental health. It now hopes that other law firms and businesses in the region will follow its lead and support the mental welfare of employees.

Cygnet has already begun to act on its commitment by taking part in the Better Health at Work Campaign, led by staff members Rebecca Fox and Kirsty Jackson, who have received mental health first aid training from Redcar & Cleveland Mind.

Peter Medd, director at Cygnet Law, said: “Dealing with mental illness is difficult, no matter the circumstance, so it is important that employers take action to make sure that their staff are well, and are able to support them should the need arise.

“As we offer Mental Health Law advice and services, we regularly see first-hand the impact that mental health issues can have on people, their families and the local community, so we understand the importance of offering support early, before things escalate.

“Cygnet’s team is committed to ensuring that our workplace is one where staff know what resources are available to them and how to access them, either to prevent mental health difficulties, or to offer support during times of need.”

Redcar & Cleveland Mind’s Chief Executive, Veronica Harnett, said: “We’re thrilled to see the impact our training has had on the team at Cygnet. We work regularly with employers across the area, delivering training to help organisations be better equipped to support their staff.

“We’re looking forward to working in partnership with Peter and the team and we’re delighted that they’re signing the ‘Time to Change’ Employer Pledge as a first step in tackling stigma.

“Many employers are still unsure how best to help staff who may be suffering from mental illness. Managers and colleagues may be nervous about saying the wrong thing, so developing an ethos where mental health is openly addressed and talked about is the key to getting things right.”

Anna Turley, Labour Member of Parliament for Redcar, said: “It is great to see Cygnet Law signing the Time To Change pledge. The firm already do fantastic work assisting clients on mental health issues and this pledge demonstrates their commitment to the health of their employees too. I hope this positive step sets an example for other local employers and encourages them to make the same commitment.

“Poor mental health is a growing problem for our society and I know that, locally, referrals to Redcar & Cleveland Mind have increased significantly in recent months. I am proud to take part in their charity beach walk to raise vital funds to support their work and to highlight the importance of getting support as soon as mental health problems arise.”

CYGNET LAW HELPS CHARITY BIKE RIDE GET INTO GEAR

Please Credit:Picture Keith Taylor

Cygnet Law has pledged its support for a pair of intrepid cyclists who are cycling through the night in aid of a local charity.

The Redcar-based law firm has given its support to Saltburn Golf Club members, Katie Clark and Mandy Thompson, who are taking part in an overnight bike ride to raise money for the club’s chosen charity, Redcar’s Ann Charlton Lodge.

The charitable duo hope to raise more than £1000 when they cycle 100 miles through the night from Carlisle to Cramond, near Edinburgh, as part of the Ride to the Sun challenge.

Peter Medd, a Director at Cygnet Law, said: “The support that Saltburn Golf Club and its members are giving to Ann Charlton Lodge is outstanding and we’re pleased to be able to contribute towards a fantastic initiative.

“Ann Charlton Lodge is an exceptionally worthwhile charity, which makes a great difference to the lives of local people with nervous system disorders and their families. I hope that other businesses and organisations will follow our lead and show their support.”

The golf club chose Ann Charlton Lodge, a purpose-built care home in Redcar for people with Multiple Sclerosis and other nervous system conditions, to be its Captain’s Charity for 2016 after club captain, Charlie Bell, and Ladies’ Captain, Anne Gollogly, put its case forward.

Anne said: “The Ann Charlton Lodge is a cause close to my heart. My mother had MS, so I have first-hand experience of the condition and the effects it can have on those with the illness and their families. The Lodge does fantastic work and is a very deserving recipient of the Captain’s Charity.”

Katie Clark, said: “It’s fantastic to have the support of Cygnet Law. I know that the Lodge has to do much of its own fundraising in order to continue to offer its much-needed and valuable services. I hope that our contribution will help take some of the financial pressure away from the Lodge and allow it to focus on continuing to deliver its fantastic services.”

Peter Wilson, Chair of the Trustees for Ann Charlton Lodge, said: “The support of Cygnet Law and Saltburn Golf Club is very welcome and greatly appreciated. I understand that, so far, the club has raised more than £2000 for us, which is absolutely fantastic as the Lodge, being a registered charity, relies heavily on donations and fundraising initiatives. We wish Katie and Mandy a safe and successful fundraising bike ride and give our grateful thanks for their support.

“Next year, we’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary. I know that Ann would have been very proud of how far we’ve come in that time and of the support we continue to receive from local people, organisations and businesses.”

GOLF CLUB CAPTAIN RUNS MARATHON IN AID OF ANN CHARLTON LODGE

  Marathon runner Charlie Bell with Cygnet Law staff Charlotte Brown and Sarah Hancocks

: Marathon runner Charlie Bell with Cygnet Law staff Charlotte Brown and Sarah Hancocks


Cygnet Law has supported Saltburn Golf Club Captain Charlie Bell in his marathon endeavour to raise thousands of pounds for a Redcar charity.

Charlie and Anne Gollogly have chosen Ann Charlton Lodge, which cares for people with Multiple Sclerosis, as their official charity during their year-long tenure as Men and Women’s Captains at the club.

Charlie, a retired police officer, recently ran the Barcelona marathon wearing an Ann Charlton Lodge T-shirt, completing the course in four hours, 30 minutes and 21 seconds to raise more than £1,500.

Charlie and Anne have set themselves a target of attracting £5,000 in donations and sponsorship for the Lodge, in Eden Hall Grove.

Peter Medd, a Director at Cygnet Law, said: “Charlie and Anne, and the members of Saltburn Golf Club, deserve support and recognition for the sterling efforts they are making to raise funds for such a fantastic local cause.

“Ann Charlton Lodge makes such a difference to the lives of people, who have MS, and their families.

“We hope others will follow us in making a contribution towards the sponsorship that Charlie is receiving after completing the Barcelona marathon.”

Charlie, 57, said: “Saltburn Golf Club is very grateful for the support we have received from Cygnet Law.

“It is donations such as this that will help Anne and me achieve our ambition of raising thousands of pounds for Ann Charlton Lodge, where incredible staff provide excellent support and services.”

Regular fund-raising events are being held at the Golf Club to add to the Captains’ charity coffers.

Ann Charlton Lodge, a purpose-built care home, provides long-term care and short-term respite care for people with Multiple Sclerosis and conditions of the central nervous system.

The home, a registered charity, relies on the generosity of firms and the general public to keep its services running.

Its care team comprises qualified nurses together with care staff whose objectives are to promote independence, choice, dignity and privacy of the individual.

Anyone who would like to support Charlie and Anne’s fundraising efforts should get in touch with Saltburn Golf Club, which is based in the town’s Hob Hill Road, and has the telephone number 01287 622812.