Welcome back to our Step it Up Campaign, where our aim is to inspire others to become more active in charity work by sharing stories of social responsibility.
Meet Sharon Benning-Prince
Sharon Benning-Prince of http://sharonbenningprince.com/ is an outsourced, in-house legal counsel specializing in ethical and corporate social responsibility. She has recently done a great deal of work on the Primark Factory collapse and compensation scheme. Sharon’s involvement in charities includes work for the Helen Bamber Foundation, The International Justice Mission and The Medaille Trust.
How did you get involved?
“I had previously done some work with The Helen Bamber Foundation, a UK-based human rights organisation offering support to survivors of cruelty including torture and trafficking, and this was a natural step on from that. I am a trustee for the Medaille Trust and as a trustee I have to be answerable if finances are used improperly, but the role can be much wider. For instance one of our employees was assaulted at a safe house and I had to assess the legal situation around excluding the aggressor to keep our employees protected. I also look at funding proposals and projects and help assess if they really are worth the time and effort put into them or whether our resources could be better used elsewhere. My role at the International Justice Mission concentrates on raising awareness and funding.”
Why are these a good fit for you?
“These charities are a good fit for me because they are an extension of my legal work. I am using my skills in the best way I know how, and anti-trafficking and modern slavery issues are areas of which I am passionate. I care about the supply chain in corporate business, not just first or second tier, but to the point of source, and peoples’ rights to fair and good conditions in both their work and social lives.”
What have you got out of it?
“It can be a lot of fun. There’s something called Friday lunches where a team goes in and cooks for homeless people in Kings Cross and I’ve done this with some girlfriends a few times. Doing this reminds me not to rest on my laurels and that one’s life can change in a very short period.”
What’s your advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
“Look at your passion and consider what interests you. Offer your skills and start at a grassroots level: your local charities are always looking for volunteers and more often than not will chew your arm off!”
Please check back often for more Step it Up interviews,
and get in touch if you would like to share your own story!