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Law firm serves up makeover for community café


Article date:  19/08/2013

A community café had a real brush with the law - after big-hearted volunteers from one of the region's leading legal firms stepped in to give it a free makeover.

The team of 13 staff from Higgs & Sons worked against the clock to give the Lunch on the Run charity café in Kingswinford a much-needed facelift without it having to lose a minute's trading.

The team, led by insolvency solicitor Oliver Ward-Jones and Laura Westwood, a solicitor in the dispute resolution team, painted the main café, hallway and serving area, working late into the night over two days.

Higgs & Sons' support came as part of the law firm's commitment to the Business in the Community scheme, which helps team companies up with good causes, and the charitable work also came ahead of Mencap's Learning Disability Week taking place this week (August 19-25).

As well as serving fantastic food, the café, which is a registered charity helps people with learning disabilities gain valuable work experience and achieve recognised accredited training to help them to progress into future employment.

Oliver said the staff had been delighted to help out with the makeover.

"The café was looking a little worse for wear before we got to work so we were thrilled to be able to help such a worthwhile project.

"We gave up a Friday afternoon working late into the evening,  and continued all through Saturday to make sure we were finished on time. This ensured that the café did not have to shut for any of its normal trading hours.

Laura added, "Staff at the café absolutely loved the new look and it was a pleasure to see how delighted they were with our handiwork."

Paul Jaunzems, chief executive of Lunch on the Run, said the makeover could not have gone better.

"I was delighted when Business in the Community told us that volunteers from Higgs & Sons had offered to decorate our Coffee Shop. It is a meeting place for a number of community groups as well as our everyday customers and was badly in need of a makeover but this was something that we couldn't afford to do ourselves.

 "The team of volunteers were conscientious and professional from start to finish and I was impressed by their enthusiasm. The little details made all the difference; it wasn't just that they painted the walls, they 'dressed' the room with new tablecloths, drapes and prints and it was these finishing touches that made the makeover complete.

"The Coffee Shop is now brighter and far more welcoming. It was a lovely surprise for our trainees when they came in and customers have been complimenting us on the improvements.

"I, the staff and trainees are so grateful for the difference that the volunteers made. I would recommend any community group or charity to make contact with Business in the Community."

Higgs & Sons works from two offices in the Black Country - Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill and Kingswinford. The firm employs more than 200 people, which includes over 100 specialist lawyers.

Lunch on the Run

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