Looking Back – Thrive 2020 Reflection

Well. It’s easy to say that 2020 was not necessarily the year we had all expected. We have written a separate blog shortly reflecting on the impact which 2020 had on employee wellbeing, both good and bad.

But what happened here at Thrive? We’ve summarised our year and all we’ve learnt, and asked for the input of some of our employees, reflecting on this year and what Thrive has meant to them.

What’s happened at Thrive?

2020 started fairly well, and then the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Like most small businesses, we had huge periods of uncertainty to contend with; at times we didn’t know whether we would even see the end of 2020. But, Jodie Hill (our Captain!) steered the ship through the rough seas. With all the employment law changes and the redundancies, we found that we had a real purpose and real opportunity to Thrive (forgive the pun) and to encourage employers to do things right, with their employees wellbeing at the forefront of their decision.

By the end of the year, we’re doing better than ever. We just won the Yorkshire Legal Awards Diversity and Inclusion award for the second year in a row! And we’ve brought in our new partner, Tom. Next year really does look bright!

Jodie Hill – Managing Partner

It’s fair to say this year was the hardest yet for Thrive. So many times, it was touch and go. Despite seeing the team less this year, we are closer and stronger than ever.  

As a firm, we have grown exponentially. We developed Thrive Wellbeing during lockdown 1.0 initially to support our team and clients for free and now we can roll this out to other companies who want to invest in the wellbeing of their team.

We have onboarded new two lawyers remotely with another on the way in early 2021.

I have loved seeing the whole team truly embrace our flexible working model, which was in place pre covid but somewhat under used, especially by the more junior staff until this year.

I am so proud of the whole team, I could burst. They took to every challenged faced with ease and with determination, they also supported each other and me personally when things got tough!

It’s also been a year of personal growth for me too.  I was diagnosed with a complex neurological condition and have gone through the whole assessment process and mediation during lockdown whilst guiding my team and my client’s through this madness!  Whilst this was incredibly challenging at times, it allowed me to grow and become self-aware.  I have developed as a leader and a lawyer as a result as I always see the opportunity through adversity.

You can read here about my experience of leading in adversity here.

Uthman – Paralegal 

Amidst the chaos that is 2020, we have relocated Thrive HQ to a bigger and brighter space, adorned with plants. We can still be found on Queen Square, but we’re now located at number 15. In response to the pandemic, the Thrive Tribe began working remotely as early as March of this year and during these unprecedented times we have all embrace Thrive’s strong a flexible working approach, working the hours that have suited us whilst being given the opportunity to return to the office and work from home as and when we need to.

This year has certainly presented its challenges. Having been in my graduate role for only 9 months, I have at this moment in time been working from home longer than I have in the office since the start of my employment. However, I could not be anymore grateful to have had the stability of employment at Thrive, around a team as positive, joyful and vibrant as the Thrive Tribe.

Deb – Paralegal 

2020 has been a whirlwind for us all. This year I started as a paralegal with Thrive, although I knew the team from my work placement I did in university, I joined the team remotely whist in lockdown.

Joining a new firm or a new job is a challenge in itself, getting used to the systems, the Thrive way and training. But I did all of this remotely whilst working from home I have progressed so much in the short time I have been with Thrive although (because of Covid) I have only had two face to face training days with members of the team. Thrive is incredibly inclusive, supportive and welcoming, as well as the senior members of staff being so approachable, that made all the difference. But I think it just proves that some workplaces never thought homeworking was possible and now most businesses are running their entire company remotely, including training new members of staff.

My experience of joining a new firm has been different and in very unique circumstances, but if anything, it made me learn how to adapt and to learn that no question is a stupid question. Even though our team has been remote working since I joined, through team meetings, quizzes, WhatsApp groups, I have never felt more included or connected to a team.

Bella – Paralegal

Another wonderful year at Thrive Law is coming to an end. This year I have completed by degree in Criminology with first class honours, which meant that I was able to move from part time to full time at Thrive. Since June I have been a full time paralegal which has been, as expected, a smooth and well supported transition.

As for next year, things will be changing slightly again for me as I embark on the Solicitor apprenticeship with BPP Law School. The Solicitor apprenticeship means that I will be able to convert my degree into a law degree, complete the SQE and qualify as a Solicitor in 6 years by working at Thrive 4 days a week and having a study day each week with BPP. I am very excited to start this chapter with Thrive and am very grateful for the opportunity.

Alicia Collinson – Solicitor

Wow, what a year! For me, it’s been a huge time of change personally; I moved up to Yorkshire finally to be closer to work, only to work from home for the remainder of the year! But, I’m so excited to be nearer to Thrive HQ and nearer to the team I love, ready for next year when we can finally be together again.

For me, I found real purpose in Thrive this year. It was a privilege to guide employers and employees through a real time of crisis; our coronavirus helpline was a particular source of comfort for me. Whilst many people were volunteering, I really was pleased that we had the helpline to use our skills to help people. The fact it’s blown up to help thousands of people is absolutely astounding to me!

The same with our black lives matter helpline; I’m so proud that I work for a firm that made their stance so clear and unequivocal, and that we’re so engaged and willing to help in areas which are so important to us all.

We’ve brought in many more HR clients, and our outsourced HR services are a real opportunity for us to assist companies, big or small. Those clients have been full of praise for our constant updates on legal changes, policies, and helping them through difficult situations.

For my part, I sincerely hope that slightly less of next year will be spent writing down Boris Johnson’s announcements, and maybe a little more getting out there, and spreading Thrive’s message and values across the UK.

Tom Stenner- Evans – Our New Partner!

If 2020 wasn’t already strange enough, I spent half of it on shared parental leave with a young baby!  Then, after 14 years with my previous firm, I decided to leave my comfort zone and seek a new challenge.  After a brief discussion with Jodie Hill, it became clear to me that our values were aligned and that Thrive would be a great fit for me.

I’ve only been here a few weeks, but it’s been an exciting and invigorating time getting to know the team and learning about the firm’s fantastic ethos.

I’m excited about what 2021 will bring.  More than ever, a light is being shone on the way that organisations treat their people, and we are well positioned to support clients in that regard.  From a legal perspective, if there’s a small silver lining to 2020, it might be that more employers adopt a flexible and trusting approach with their workforce. 

Looking forward…

Going into 2021, we can’t wait to continue as we started. It’s such a great time to make inroads in employee wellbeing and diversity in the workplace, and here at Thrive, we don’t intend to slow down!

By Alicia Collinson

Thrive Wellbeing…

Do you know what to do when it comes to your employee’s mental health?

Do you have high rates of sick absences? Do you struggle to keep employee’s wellbeing at the top of your agenda?

What if you could reduce the number of sick absences you have? what if you could increase your employees productively at work? The most successful businesses are those that invest in their people and put their employee’s wellbeing at the top of their agenda. Your people are the drivers of your business, looking after their mental wellbeing will only benefit your business in the long run.

Thrive has created a Wellbeing programme for businesses to better understand their employee’s wellbeing and by having this knowledge you will reap the rewards.


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