The next generation fighting for justice: this project needs your help | Our response to the Windrush compensation consultation | Law Centres win in the High Court to prevent home loss | Our caseworker Anne wins 21 month battle with DWP for client’s back payment
The next generation fighting for justice: this project needs your help TODAY
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Aspiring social welfare lawyers face increasing challenges in accessing the profession. Many law students don’t have the option to study social welfare law as part of their law degrees or legal training. There is only a small number of trainee contracts available and due to the cuts the problem is particularly acute in the area of legal aid, where salaries are very low. Where is the next generation of specialist lawyers going to come from?
Social welfare work includes fighting for essential benefits, stopping homelessness and protecting the rights of vulnerable people. This work is not optional, but we are at risk of losing a generation of social welfare lawyers.
This is why the Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) campaigns for the next generation of social welfare lawyers.
And that is why we work together with students and have already trained many of them successfully. It does not make the professional situation they face easier, but from our own experience we know that it inspires them to be able to help people in the community. We are grateful that some of the students continue volunteering for us. It is such a precious programme which really needs your help.
Through our LASP scheme, we provide law students with high quality training and supervision to represent social welfare clients. This supports the next generation of social welfare lawyers whilst also providing life-changing representation for vulnerable people in Greater Manchester. To continue this scheme, we need your help.. To continue this scheme, we need your help.
Our response to the Windrush compensation consultation
In May 2018, the Home Secretary launched a call for evidence to help shape a compensation scheme for members of the Windrush generation.
We are based in the heart of Moss Side which is the area where the Windrush generation who came to Manchester first settled. We have had a large number of queries once the scandal became public and have also attended local meetings to discuss the issue and comment in general on the information we obtained during this process.
In response to the call for evidence, we set out the general causes of concern raised by this set of people.
We ask that, in addition to compensation based on individual circumstances, a minimum amount is given to everyone affected by the scandal with an additional set amount given to anyone who travelled back to the UK after a visit abroad.
We also propose that clear and simple details of the compensation scheme, and ways of applying for it, are publicised widely, including directly with all advice agencies working in the communities affected.
Law Centres win in the High Court to prevent home loss
A recent High Court decision was deservingly won by the Law Centres Network in a challenge to the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid policy, via Judicial Review.
The changes concerned in this decision related to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS). This is where essential legal advice and representation is provided at court for people facing possession proceedings. More importantly, these people, often without representation, are at risk of losing their homes due to rent arrears or mortgage debts and may become homeless as a result.
Our caseworker Anne wins 9 month battle with DWP for client’s back payment
A Severe Disability Premium is an extra amount included in some benefits to help with the cost of disability. Last week, Anne secured a client’s back payment of £2256 for a client who had been battling with a Department of Work and Pensions decision maker since September 2017. The decision maker had misinterpreted the regulations.
This client was in need of that premium to help with the cost of their disability, but they were forced to undergo a protracted battle to receive it. We are pleased to have been able to support them but angry that they had to fight.
Would you like to join our dedicated team? Find our volunteer opportunities here.
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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. Go to the Get involved tab on the home page.
- For those of you on Twitter, #whyweneedGMLawCentre or #FreeAccesstoJustice and tell us why GMLC 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.