Birketts and Kett’s Books

Kett’s Books in Wymondham has been run as a not-for-profit, independent bookshop since September 2014. It is a Community Interest Company, run by volunteers, which exists to benefit Wymondham and the surrounding towns and villages. It is named after Robert Kett, probably Wymondham’s most famous son.

The shop runs a number of book groups for adults, young adults and children. It takes part in book fairs at schools and is developing more links with schools and young families, in line with its educational objectives. It also holds author events and book signings.

Birketts is a full-service law firm, operating in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich and the surrounding areas. The firm’s core business is divided into corporate and commercial, property, litigation and dispute resolution, and private client.

Project summary – Kett’s Books came to Norfolk ProHelp with some questions around employment law and the practicalities of paying the part-time shop manager. The Directors wanted to legitimately make payments without necessarily becoming employers and needed advice on how best to do this. The decision would be crucial in terms of the day-to-day operations of the shop and its continued viability.

A specialist employment associate from Birketts answered all their questions and provided a sample contract that would meet the shop’s needs.

Impact – The project delivered:

  • The ability to make the appointment, knowing that we had a sound contract that meets current legal requirements
  • The advice led us to make certain organisational changes concerned with monitoring, support and professional development
  • We contribute more sustainably to the economy by making the appointment
  • We are able to use the real-terms cost of the help received when we make further bids for funding

“It felt like a godsend to receive free legal advice when trying to set up the Shop Manager as our first employee – and the plan has worked out on schedule. As our community bookshop moves into this new stage of the business, the advice from Birketts has been extremely useful. The support from ProHelp has been efficient and well-coordinated.” Ray Rumsby, Kett’s Books

“Birketts are always pleased to help organisations such as Kett’s Books that serve the local community in such an invaluable way. It was a real pleasure working with the members of the Board who give their time so selflessly and are so passionate about ensuring that the local community benefit from this resource.” Catherine Hepworth, Associate, Birketts