| Our story and monthly column in the law society messenger | Could you join our welfare benefits team? | A day in the life of a legal aid lawyer & GMLC trustee | Why legal aid matters and what you can do about it | In case you missed it: our submission to the Windrush review |
“My motivation to volunteer is that I believe in GMLC’s message. I’m proud to be a cog in this machine – everyone works so tirelessly and believes in what they’re doing“– Lisa, GMLC Volunteer
Our story and monthly column in the law society messenger
We are thrilled that, not only do we feature in an excellent 2 page spread in this month’s Law Society Messenger, we can announce that we will have a monthly column in future editions!
“We should be a voice for change for the people we are working with. We fight to change the policy and legislation that brings people to us in the first place.
Could you join our welfare benefits team?
Our fantastic welfare benefits casework volunteers have achieved:
- Successfully challenging the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for demanding £30,000 in benefits repayments from a person falsely classified as having no leave to remain by the Home Office
- Representing a person who had been fined for failing to notify the DWP of a change in their circumstances by successfully proving that the DWP were in fact aware of the change
- Winning an 8 month battle for a person denied benefits on basis of a physiotherapist’s assessment, when their difficulties were actually caused by mental health conditions
- Recovering over one million pounds in benefits for people in Greater Manchester since we opened in 2016
Could you join our casework team, or do you know someone who could?
Two years’ experience providing specialist level welfare benefits casework is essential.
Our chair John Nicholson recounts a day in the life as a legal aid lawyer operating in the hostile environment.
“I’ve got a ‘mini pupil’ [student on placement] shadowing me today. Also, not surprisingly, a young aspiring lawyer who is volunteering at the law centre. We started a scheme with Manchester Metropolitan University two years ago and now have been able to extend this to the University of Manchester as well.
We briefly discuss today’s asylum appeal. He can’t see how anyone could dismiss it. He’s already shocked at the treatment of people going through this tribunal – they’ve fled persecution and yet they’re being treated worse than criminals”
We fight for the restoration of legal aid, as we believe the right to justice is as important as the right to health or education.
We are quoted in this article on why legal aid matters and what you can do about it:
“At the last count, there is no legal aid provider for immigration or asylum in Lancashire, a county to which the home office is increasingly dispersing applicants because much of the housing is poor (and therefore cheap). People in these areas simply have nowhere to go to resolve their problems. This means doctors, mental health services, local authorities and other public services will be taking up the slack”
In case you missed it: our submission to the Windrush review
The Home Secretary commissioned a “lessons learned review” into the events leading up to Windrush. We responded:
“The main reason why the ‘Windrush scandal’ occurred was because of policies initiated by successive governments to target migrants in an effort to prove that they were not soft on immigration, the government’s belief being that they had to take this line in order to obtain votes.
They were willing to ignore the effects of their anti-migrant rhetoric on those from the ethnic communities who were in the UK legally. They were willing to ignore the increase in racist violence which occurred whenever anti-migrant rhetoric was aired and were, in particular, willing to see residents who had been in the UK legally for decades lose their jobs, be refused healthcare and benefits and see the lives of those with the right to be in the UK ruined by a policy targeted at immigrants, built on an ideological pursuit of political targets.”
We are a law centre run by the community, for the community. This means we need your support. If you have a fundraising idea, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider making an individual donation by clicking here.
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, follow us, RT or quote us and hashtag #WhyWeNeedGMLC or #FreeAccesstoJustice. If you are on fb follow our page and share our posts.
- Ask for a letter of support from your local councillor/MP/community organisation/trade union branch and send it in to us.
All the very best,
Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC)
Phone 0161 769 2244 | Email email@example.com
GMLC is run by the community for the community and your contributions are vital in securing key, free face-to-face advice and representation services as well as for fighting together for free access to justice.