Co-operative Legal Services recognised as first corporate to raise £15m for charity via Wills

September 12, 2014

Marking Remember A Charity Awareness Week (8-15 September), the Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) is being recognised today as the first corporate organisation to raise £15m in potential gifts to charities, via the Wills created for its customers.

This follows a recent parliamentary inquiry into charitable giving, which recommended legacy gifts as a vital route to boost charity funds.

As part of proactive activity to increase consumer awareness of charitable giving via Wills, CLS has partnered with legacy fundraising campaign, Remember a Charity (RaC) since 2012. Through this partnership, CLS has shared tried and tested methods with both RaC and the Cabinet Office, helping to evidence the view that proactive prompts directly increase the donations pledged to charity via Wills.

Further highlighting the success of this approach, CLS has now reached the milestone of raising over £15m in potential charitable donations and has today (September 12, 2014) become the first corporate to be awarded a Yellow Plaque. In place since 2012, the Yellow Plaques scheme is operated by RaC and recognises the contributions made by organisations to charitable legacies.

Commenting on this milestone, Matt Howells, MD for The Co-operative Legal Services said:

“Legacy giving is a vital stream of income for many charities and we’re incredibly proud to have reached the milestone of £15m in donations. This figure continues to grow and it’s fantastic to see our customers being recognised for their generosity.”

“Working closely with charities from within the communities in which we operate is evidence of our Group purpose in action. Increasing awareness of legacy donations is just one of the many examples of how we're championing a better way of doing business for our customers and their communities."

Head of Wills, James Antoniou for The Co-operative Legal Services added:

“The work we have been doing over the last two years is a further leap towards our goal of ensuring that having a Will, and considering whether to leave a gift to charity in it, becomes a social norm.”

“Having a professionally drafted Will offers certainty and peace of mind. It ensures that a person’s wishes, about how they would like their assets and personal belongings distributed, are both clear and legally enforceable.”

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said:

"Inspired by the blue plaques awarded by English Heritage, the Remember A Charity Yellow Plaque scheme aims to recognise the contribution made by charitable legacies”

"The Co-operative Legal Services, are the first corporate company to be awarded the honour. It's an acknowledgement of their great work in raising awareness of leaving a charitable gift in a Will, which helps to ensure the invaluable work of the nation's favourite charities lives on."

Charity tracker

For 2014, the top 10 charities to have benefited via potential donations within the Wills created by CLS are:

  1. Cancer Research UK
  2. MacMillan Cancer Support
  3. RNLI
  4. NSPCC
  5. Dogs Trust
  6. Cancer Research
  7. Cats Protection
  8. Oxfam
  9. Red Cross
  10. RSPCA

For further information please contact The Co-operative Legal Services Press Office:

Catherine Turner: Catherine.Turner@co-operative.coop / 07834 090 783
Lauren Hoult:  Lauren.Hoult@co-operative.coop / 07702 505 626
Emily Dalton: Emily.dalton@co-operative.coop / 07738 621 201

Notes to Editors

About The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS)
CLS is an integral part of the newly formed Consumer Services Division of the Co-operative Group, which includes General Insurance and Funeralcare. CLS was established in 2006 and in 2012 it became the first major consumer brand to be granted alternative business structure (ABS) status under the new Legal Services Act.

CLS is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and offers the following services:
Family law, Wills, Probate, Personal injury, Employment Law and Conveyancing (through panel firms).

CLS seeks to offer fixed fees to its customers, meaning that the customer almost always knows exactly what the costs involved will be and therefore the customer is able to manage costs more effectively.  Customers are can ask as many questions as necessary to understand the legal services required to move on with their lives.

For further information about leaving a gift to charity in a Will contact: 0330 606 9578 alternatively please visit: http://www.co-operativelegalservices.co.uk/