A Newcastle based law firm has been shortlisted for a national award, alongside ITV and Aviva, in recognition of its support for North East communities.

Muckle LLP has a long history of supporting charitable causes across the region. It makes grants, encourages volunteering by its people and provides free commercial legal advice to those in need. Its charity work is coordinated by its Community team, made up of people from across the firm.

The independent North East law firm for businesses has now been shortlisted for ‘CSR Team of the Year’ at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards, alongside two far larger national organisations – ITV and Aviva.

Finalists in other categories include the likes of Asda, Premier Inn and several other iconic brands.

Each year Muckle donates 1% of its annual profits to its charitable fund at the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear. In 2019 the law firm celebrated the fact that over £500,000 had been awarded to local causes since its Muckle Fund began.

In addition to its grant making, the firm encourages its people to give back and support their communities. Each Muckle employee receives two days’ volunteering leave and its lawyers provide thousands of pounds of pro bono legal advice to charities each year.

Andy Hillier, business director at award organisers Third Sector, said: “In these difficult times, it’s good to remind ourselves of all the great work that already happens across the country.

“In the coming weeks and months we’re going to need more charities and companies to follow the lead of this year’s Business Charity Awards finalists and come together to work for the benefit of society.”

Hugh Welch, senior partner and driving force behind Muckle LLP’s CSR strategy, said: “We are proud and a little surprised to be shortlisted alongside some huge household names.

“These are challenging and very uncertain times, which is why it is so important to remain optimistic and continue to care about the communities in which we live and work.

“There are levels of deprivation in our region that should simply not exist in the 21st century and the current climate makes life even more difficult for charities, communities and vulnerable people.

“I believe that the North East has an inherently caring spirit and I hope that we can pull together and do whatever is necessary to help those in need. However large or small, it all makes a difference.”

Jon Goodwin, senior philanthropy advisor at the Community Foundation, added: “The team strikes a perfect balance between supporting causes close to the heart of people who work at Muckle and thinking strategically about where the company’s philanthropy can make a sustained impact in the North East.

“I know the firm is keen to deepen its relationships with a number of small local charities working to improve the lives and prospects of young people in the region, and I look forward to helping them do so.”

Muckle LLP focuses its community work around four key areas: overcoming disadvantage; young people; social mobility and local causes its people care about.

In the last 12 months the law firm has supported and worked closely with a range of North East charities, including children’s educational charity Success4All in Newcastle; anti-food-waste social enterprise ReFuse in Chester-Le-Street; and homelessness support charity Oasis Community Housing, based in Sunderland and Gateshead.