You can still sign our open letter to Andy Burnham, which is already making an impact | Our law students’ 100% success rate in winning benefit appeals | A call for volunteers: Tues 25th July, Sat 12th August, and Sun 13th August | Greater Manchester Poverty Action – We can do this together | Where we were exactly one year ago
Here is a round-up of the latest access to justice stories:
- Council leaders slam the “ludicrously flawed” Universal Credit system and call for its rollout to be delayed.
- Grenfell disaster predicted by horrifyingly prescient blog post by the Grenfell Action Group in 2016
- Child refugees ‘falling through the gaps’ of asylum schemes
You can still sign our open letter to Andy Burnham, which is already making an impact
We recently delivered a letter to Andy Burnham, asking him to implement a levy on corporate law firms in Greater Manchester to support free legal advice and representation services. When we met earlier in the year, we discussed the levy together and we agreed that new, innovative thinking was needed in order to meet the legal advice needs of our community.
Our open letter is already making waves, as we featured on the front page of the Solicitors Journal (now defunct), and later in the Law Society Gazette. As support for our letter grows, we expect further media coverage in the coming weeks.
Please read, sign and share our open letter here. We grateful to our existing signatories, one of whom is our long-standing supporter Ken Loach. We are nearing 250 signatures, can you help to make our voice louder?
GMLC Development Worker, Roz Burgin, delivers direct letter to Andy Burnham’s Office
Our law students’ 100% success rate in winning benefit appeals
As part of GMLC’s Pro Bono Legal Advocacy Support Project (LASP) students from the Manchester Law School represent clients at appeal hearings, who are due to have their Employment and Support Allowance reduced by the Department of Work and Pensions.
As a result of the project, GMLC’s students have successfully won a reversal of the Department’s decision in four out of four cases, meaning the clients will continue to receive their benefits.
Samantha Mayer, student at the GMLC expressed: “Being part of the LASP scheme at Greater Manchester Law Centre has been an amazing experience, which has enabled me to put theory into practice almost immediately, by taking on work that really makes a difference to people at a very difficult time in their lives”.
Samantha’s client, Jannah Murphy stated: “The support and assistance that I received from Sam Mayer and the team gave me reassurance and made me feel like a real person. When I contacted the Law Centre I was at the lowest I had ever been due to my health deteriorating and financial stress. I was shown compassion and Sam completed all the relevant paperwork and put my case together, taking more strain off my shoulders. Without them I would not have known where to turn or how to move forward with my tribunal. It is an absolutely amazing service.”
Emma Goodwin, Pro Bono Director at Manchester Law School at Manchester Metropolitan University; Samantha Mayer, student; Giles Elliott, Greater Manchester Law Centre supervising caseworker; Ciara Bartlam, student.
A call for volunteers: Tue 25th July, Sat 12th August, and Sun 13th August
From midday until 5pm on Tuesday 25th July, we have a stall at MMU’s Community Learning Festival. We require volunteers to represent GMLC by staffing the stall, distributing leaflets and speaking to interested organisations and individuals. If you would be interested in this opportunity, please contact our development workers, and/or fill in this doodle poll.
You can read more about the festival here.
We will also have a stall at the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester in Alexandra Park, Moss Side. The festival takes place over Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August. We are in the process of determining exactly when our stall will be, but please get in touch if you would be interested in helping out.
You can read more about the carnival here.
Greater Manchester Poverty Action: We can do this Together
Last week, our affiliates Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) hosted a positive meeting of around fifty individuals and organisations who are working to reduce poverty across the city region. We enjoyed sharing ideas about support for people who use foodbanks, tackling fuel poverty, mapping support services across Greater Manchester and working closer together in our campaigning activity.
It was a pleasure to take part and the shared enthusiasm and vision in the room was inspiring.
You can read more details in GMPA’s newsletter here.
Our Chair John Nicholson (left) and Development Worker Roz Burgin (right) at a group discussion
Where we were exactly one year ago
By chance, we stumbled across this article in The Law Society Gazette, published exactly one year ago.
“Manchester lawyers agree location for advice hub:
Manchester practitioners have taken a step forward in their plans to plug gaps in advice provision created by cuts to legal aid.
The Greater Manchester Law Centre Steering Group told the Gazette that a new law centre will open in a purpose-built building in Princess Road, Moss Side, this summer.
The decision was made following two public meetings in which 60 people unanimously voted to create a community centre in the area.
Barrister John Nicholson, chair of the group’s management committee, said: ‘This is a huge development. Having premises is a lot of incentive for attracting solicitors who are willing to do pro bono work.’ “
We are very proud to have come so far and we wish to extend our thanks to all supporters who make GMLC’s survival possible.
Get involved – GMLC needs YOU!
Volunteers are the backbone of GMLC. Our Services Volunteers assist on our premises with admin assistance, reception work and managing the facilities, and our Campaign Volunteers manage our fundraising, outreach and campaigning activity. For more information, check out our website, get in touch with us on 0161 769 2244, or email our Development Workers.
We’d also like to hear from all budding (and seasoned) writers for our volunteer-run GMLC Blog which will focus on issues relating to access to justice. If you’d like to contribute please get in touch with your ideas.
4 things you can do to help Greater Manchester Law Centre
- You can donate and/or set up a standing order to help fund our key legal services
- Get involved, by either volunteering, becoming a member, a supporter, or if you are an organisation, you can affiliate with us. Find out how by going to the ‘Get Involved’ section of our website
- For those of you on Twitter, tweet us @gmlawcentre and tell us why access to justice is so important.
- Ask for a letter of support from your local councillor/MP/community organisation/trade union branch and send it in to us