The Crowborough-based charity enables children across the South East with life-limiting illnesses to achieve their dreams. It was launched six years ago by Suzi, in memory of her son Taylor. He fell ill in 2008 aged 11 with an incurable illness, which he fought for four years. During this time, Taylor and his mother watched the film ‘The Bucket List’ and Suzi suggested that her son write a list of people he wanted to meet and places he wanted to go.
Many exciting adventures were had in the last two years of Taylor’s life, including a dream holiday in a tree house at Center Parcs, swimming with dolphins and meeting David Beckham.
Taylor passed away on 2 September 2011 and it was while fulfilling his list that Suzi decided she would one day set up a charity to do the same for other children facing life-limiting illnesses.
CooperBurnett involves the whole team when selecting a charity to support. Suggestions are sought, a short list is created and a vote is taken. Once a charity is chosen, the firm’s charity committee, consisting of Katie Hilsdon, Gareth Warner and Lisa Connolly, drives the fundraising.
“Our team was drawn to Taylor-Made Dreams because of the inspiring work it does to help children with life limiting illnesses achieve their dreams, whatever those dreams may be,” says Katie Hilsdon, Associate Solicitor in the Corporate and Commercial team at CooperBurnett. “When Suzi came in to meet our team, the way she spoke about her son Taylor and the bucket list he ticked off before he died, made us all understand how achieving dreams not only brings light into the life of the child, but leaves some very special memories for their family as well.”
Over the past two years, CooperBurnett has been supporting Taylor-Made Dreams with a variety of initiatives. Katie is a seasoned runner and completed the Brighton Marathon for the charity this year, while a team from the firm took part in a Regent’s Park 10km race. Throughout March, all of the swear monies collected by the firm was donated to Taylor-Made Dreams, and the team has organised cake sales and collected Easter eggs to distribute to families who are being supported by the charity.
More recently, CooperBurnett replaced artwork in its office with some stunning photographs of local landscapes, including Bodiam Castle and Eastbourne Pier, as well as images from further afield, such as the Taj Mahal and Paris. All of them have been taken by talented Associate Solicitor, Charlotte Mackenzie, who is part of the Commercial Property team. The images have also been available to purchase, with a donation going to Taylor-Made Dreams.
“We are delighted to have supported Taylor-Made Dreams and I am proud of how the team has come together to raise such a wonderful amount,” says Victoria Sampson, Partner at CooperBurnett and head of Corporate and Commercial Services. “We wish the charity well with its ongoing work, which we know makes such a difference to many families.”
Adds Suzi Mitchell: “We are incredibly thankful to CooperBurnett for selecting Taylor-Made Dreams as their ‘charity of choice’ for 2017/18 and for their outstanding efforts in raising awareness and valuable funds for the charity. Being a small non-profit organisation in its infancy, in an ocean of many other worthy causes, we deeply appreciate the support of the local corporate community to help us achieve our mission.”
“The £4,729.58 raised by the team at CooperBurnett will ensure we are able to continue the work we do with children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The legal advice provided pro-bono has been highly professional and incredibly helpful in our present and future development. Gratitude to CooperBurnett, you have raised the bar in CSR!”