Laura Merry is a personal injury specialist at Thring Townsend Solicitors in Bath. Despite a demanding career, she dedicates her spare time to head-injury charity Headway Bath and District.
When and why did you become involved with Headway Bath and District?
Through my work at Thring Townsend. The firm has a specialist unit dealing with head-injury claims. Many of our clients, their carers and families have benefited greatly from the advice and support given by Headway Bath and District. I started to support the charity in 2000, attending monthly members meetings. Three years later, I joined its management committee and sub-finance committee. I am now vice-chair of the charity.
Are there any other charities you support financially, or with time?
Yes. I also support Headway Bristol by attending their monthly carers' meetings.
Approximately how much time or money do you give per year? I dedicate around 80-100 hours a year to Headway through attending meetings, fundraising events and social outings. I'm also one of the finalists selected for this year's Law Society Young Solicitors' Group Pro Bono Award, which rewards solicitors who give their time to help people who lack access to legal advice. The event will take place on 7 June in London.
What do you bring to the charities you help? My legal expertise and experience of working for those that have been affected by a brain injury. I also give Headway access to other areas of expertise such as charity law. More recently, I have helped the charity's support centre to print its newsletter through Thring Townsend. It is a real boost for the attendees and carers to see their work and efforts in a professional format.
What is a good way for a charity to approach you? I don't have a problem with being approached by other charities. There are many worthwhile causes, but rather than just giving money, I prefer to give my time.