Acts of Kindness from LGFL

Small acts of kindness can really put a smile on your face, from a stranger in a coffee queue helping with the right change, or someone gifting you their car parking ticket with an hour left on it!

LGFL Ltd have always supported various charities, nominating a small charity of the quarter and supporting larger, national annual campaigns too.

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, our Directors Rita Gupta and Anne Leiper decided to do something different. We would nominate and support ten very different charities, with a focus on small charities that have a big impact locally. We called then our Acts of Kindness (AoKs).


Our 10 AoKs for 2018

1. New cricket nets for Theale and Tilehurst Cricket ClubTheale & Tilehurst Cricket Club nets

This was the first of three initiatives to support local sports at, literally, grass roots level. The existing nets were unsafe and needed replacing before the new season. Our contribution helped put up new nets in time for the youth team to train hard and not worry where the balls would end up! Visit their Website.



2. Wey Valley Riding Club Summer ShowWey Valley riding sponsorship

Horse riding is very popular in our part of Berkshire, and the love of horse encompasses all ages, abilities and social backgrounds. The Wey Valley Riding Club provides high level training for riders to progress to regional and national level. To help the club’s promotion of excellence, we sponsored a class tat their Summer Show that offers qualification to the Sunshine Tour, a championship series of events aimed at novice, amateur and unaffiliated riders.



3. Smalls for All and Idina’s Toilet Twinning MissionToilet Twinning Sponsor

These are two terrific ‘basics’ charities that caught our attention. Smalls for All collects and distributes underwear to help women and children in Africa. They particularly provide black pants as part of hygiene packs to schoolgirls in Africa to enable them to attend school every day.

Idina’s Toilet Twinning Mission is a toilet twinning awareness campaign started by a local schoolgirl. We were so moved (no pun intended) by Idina’s campaign that we immediately made a donation!

 4. Reading United Under 12’s football teamReading under 12s sponsor

Both our Directors have a love of the beautiful game, and have sponsored a couple of youth teams over the years. This year it was the turn of the boys of Reading United Under 12’s, aka the Biscuit Boys, who look great in their new LGFL sponsored shirts. We’ve also sponsored the Christmas chocolate giveaway to the team, so vital for rewarding success and dedication!



5. Jeans for Genes DayJeans for Genes sponsorship

One of our favourite charities and one we’ve supported for several years. OK, it is at heart an excuse to wear jeans to the office, but our donation helps to make a difference for children affected by genetic disorders.



6. The Royal British LegionPoppy appeal

As the country commemorated 100 years since then end of Word War I, we donated to the charity that provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community;  serving men and women, veterans, and their families. Lest we forget.



7. First Days Children’s charityFirst days charity

First Days helps with practical gifts of clothes, toys and equipment to local families living in unintended, unforeseen poverty, right here in Berkshire. We’re pleased to support a local charity doing such valuable work in Reading and across the county. For more details, see our article.



8. Billable Hour and the Legal 500Billable hour charity

For the second year running, we were ranked in the prestigious Legal 500, improving our rating from 2017. We take our responsibility as family lawyers very seriously, and were pleased to be part of the Billable Hour, when law firms donate the equivalent of one hour’s charge to charity. With top London firms and smaller boutique companies such as ours involved, it’s a great example of a professional community giving back to the people it serves.



9. Save the Children Christmas Jumper DayChristmas Jumper Day

This year, the whole of the business community here at Citibase Reading joined in this annual celebration of kitch knitwear! And yes, there are pictures on our social media feeds…

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

10. Launchpad ReadingLaunchpad opening doors chairty

We’ve been meeting clients at Spaces in Reading town centre for several months now, and so we’ve chosen a Reading charity as our final Act of Kindness. Launchpad helps the homeless of the town, from rough sleepers to families in unsuitable temporary accommodation. As the charity says:

“Homelessness is a complicated issue. It’s not just about losing a roof from over your head – it’s about losing your self-esteem, confidence, structure and purpose.”

Charitable giving in 2019

We aim to continue our charitable giving in 2019, and helping where we can. Keep an eye out for our blogs and social media posts on how we - and you - can help in small ways that make a big difference.

Rita at First Days charity

Every parent knows how quickly kids grow out of their clothes - and how expensive that can be for a family. Sadly, there are too many families locally that have fallen on hard times and are living in poverty, and for whom clothes are a major expense they cannot afford.

That’s why at LGFL we are supporting a local charity that aims to prevent clothes and other items that could help a family in need from ending up in landfill, as so much does these days.


First Days Children’s Charity

The First Days charity’s idea is simple. They encourage families to donate used and good quality clothes, toys and equipment for children, from newborn to age seven. The charity then redistributes items to parents in need across Berkshire, who are struggling to provide the basic necessities for their families. The charity also helps with provision of school uniforms for children aged 4 to 16 years.

LGFL Director Rita Gupta explains why the family law firm has chosen to support the charity as part of 10 Acts of Kindness initiative:

“As a parent myself, I find it heart breaking that local families have such a great need, and can’t afford necessities such as a warm winter coat. The children involved are the innocent party, and no child in our society should have to go without the basics.

We love the charity’s work because it helps on several levels.

  • It helps local families with practical, almost immediate help at time of need
  • It helps put ‘hand me downs’ and ‘upcycling’ back in fashion
  • It encourages us to be green and reduces landfill

I have a love of clothes, and have recycled my son’s items (with his permission of course!) so that other children will benefit from them. Much to my surprise, one of the items the charity is most short of are socks, which they put in Christmas gift bags at this time of year. So we also donated new packets of socks in the required sizes! So simple, so inexpensive to us, but so vital to others.”

Identifying families in need

Nominations for those who need help are received from social services, plus the caring and medical profession. The charity get 100 referrals each month and have a 7-10 day turnaround for parcels to families. In total, the charity helps around 1500 children every year, whose families have been affected by issues including physical and mental ill health, redundancy, rising housing costs, family breakdown, refugee status, austerity measures and the changes to the benefits system.

As First Days fundraising manager Annette Honneyball says:

“One of our most important roles is to help people to recognise that poverty exists on our doorstep and in families who you would never know are struggling. We all assume Berkshire is affluent but not everyone is. Families fall on hard times through no fault of their own.”


Working, but just not managing

Rita was shocked to realise that around a third of the families helped by the charity have at least one parent in full time work, yet are still struggling. 15% of those helped are escaping domestic violence and abusive relationships, (something we come across all too often in our line of work). 7% are refugees who have arrived in the UK with very little to their name.

Berkshire may seem an affluent county, but like much of Britain, behind the high house price headlines, there is genuine hardship happening too. In our immediate area alone:

  • Wokingham - 11% are in poverty
  • Parts of Reading - 24%
  • Slough - 30%

What is poverty?

In Europe, the definition of relative poverty is where a household income is 60% or less of the country's median household income, which in the UK is currently around £25,000. This means that if a household is bringing in less than £15,000 total a year, they cannot afford an “ordinary living pattern” and that they are excluded from activities and opportunities as a result.

Or as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation puts it rather more bluntly:

“Poverty means not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy the essentials for your children. It means waking up every day facing insecurity, uncertainty, and impossible decisions about money. It means facing marginalisation – and even discrimination – because of your financial circumstances.”


Poverty in Berkshire

Poverty in Berkshire can mean a stark choice between school shoes or food. The issue of new school uniforms is also a major concern. The average primary school uniform costs around £200 and secondary school around £330. What’s more, some families in temporary accommodation don’t have access to laundry facilities, so can’t wash school shirts regularly.


How you can help

If you would like to help the First Days, either by donating items or fund raising, the charity would love to hear from you at www.firstdays.net. They receive no government funding and rely on willing volunteers. Or you can go online and checkout their wish-list at Amazon.


The LGFL Acts of Kindness (AoKs)

We’ve identified ten causes to support during our 10th anniversary year You’ll find more details in previous blogs, and our next article will give a full round-up of our AoKs!

If you missed what we’ve been sharing this month, here’s a round up of our blogs and some of the news posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Read More

We’re delighted to announce that LGFL are the new sponsors of a dance class that allows disadvantaged children to enjoy the performing arts and build their confidence in a safe and supportive environment. The Popley Spotlight Centre near Basingstoke offers a whole range of activities for children, and sponsorship helps make these affordable and accessible to all.

Read More

It’s not every youth football team that has a firm of family lawyers on their side – and close to their hearts too!


At a time of year when businesses are sending out paper Christmas cards, we took the decision again this year to send an e-card via email. The reason for this is very simple; we can donate the money we would have spent on cards, envelopes, stamps and man-hours to support two charities that reflect the ethos of our business.



On Saturday 5 December, Fleet town centre was thronging with thousands of people taking advantage of Small Business Saturday to enjoy a day of local shopping. Businesses across the town entered into the Christmas spirit, offering discounts, free mince pies and other incentives to encourage people to shop locally.


If you’re a football fan, join the club! Here at Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers we are keen football supporters especially for our local football team Reading F.C.