Following Rollits being shortlisted for the Hull Live Awards in the Business in the Community category, we had a chat with Pat Coyle, Director of Marketing and Client Relations, about how the law firm supports the city and region.
“Many of our staff offer their time and expertise in an official capacity to charities and not-for-profit organisations and educational institutions,” said Pat. “This is delivered in many ways such as serving time as school governors, board members and trustees, and is just one of our ways of giving back to the local community.”
Pat herself is a trustee of Run With It, which is based at the MKM Stadium, and Hull Truck Theatre, which Rollits has supported in many ways over the years. Some people think the job of a trustee is simply attending board meetings every few months, yet it actually goes a lot more in-depth than that, as Pat explained:
“When you take on the role of a trustee or board member it’s all about challenging ideas, decisions and practices, supporting the organisation in as many ways as possible, and being an ambassador for them at all times. From spreading the word and attending events to exploring unique ways to add value to an organisation, the role of a trustee offers unlimited opportunities for ideas, creativity and innovation.”
Run With It is a charity that uses the MKM Stadium as a classroom to deliver programmes and experiences primarily in literacy and numeracy, as well as health, wellbeing, employability skills and more. The charity has now expanded into East Yorkshire and runs sessions out of Flemingate in Beverley and also at Bridlington Football Club. Meanwhile, Hull Truck Theatre is a hub of new writing, drama, comedy, music, dance and education. Needless to say, both organisations faced more than their fair share of obstacles when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“When Covid hit and the lockdown came into force, neither of these organisations could deliver their normal programmes in the usual way,” said Pat. “Schools couldn’t visit the stadium and Hull Truck had to close its performance spaces and café for months on end, so something had to be done in order to keep community engagement alive. It was during this time that the importance of having a strong and engaged board of trustees came into its own.”
Complementing Rollits’ numerous staff members who are trustees and school governors, the firm also hosts and contributes to a wide range of activity in the arts and business communities. Recent examples include the Rollits offices welcoming people through its doors for Heritage Open Days, an event on resilience and wellbeing at Humber Business Week, and various fundraisers and events in aid of local charities, particularly its Charity of the Year, Hull 4 Heroes.
“Everyone at Rollits has something to offer the Hull and East Yorkshire community,” said Pat. “One of my specialisms is a longstanding involvement in the city and the networks I’ve built up, which allow me to connect charities with relevant people and spread the word in an ambassadorial capacity. Others, including many of our Partners, have years of experience in governance and different areas of law, ranging from contracts and sponsorship agreements to intellectual property and employment law, all of which apply to not-for-profit organisations.”
Rollits also has a strong portfolio of charity legal services, ensuring that these crucial organisations can meet their legal needs, remain compliant and create a roadmap for ongoing growth. The law firm is ranked in the Legal 500 for their work in this sector, which reflects its commitment to supporting charitable organisations of all sizes through providing expert legal advice and guidance.
Pat added: “If I were to give one piece of advice when it comes to applying for a trustee or school governor role, it would be to make sure it’s an organisation that you’re truly invested in. This isn’t a tick box exercise or something to put on your CV, as you’ll need to give lots of time, serious thoughts and contribute 100% throughout your term. It’s all about passion and synergy, which can be extremely rewarding.”