| A Greater Manchester response to the ‘decimation’ of Legal Aid | No one is illegal: Supporting the Guardian & Observer 2018 Appeal | The gift of free access to justice |
Merry Christmas & festive wishes from the Greater Manchester Law Centre
It has been a big year for us: recovering over one million pounds falsely denied to disabled people in Greater Manchester (and now over 1.5 million), campaigning alongside our local Windrush community, working with others on important housing and social welfare campaigns and so much more. Our volunteers and supporters are an endless inspiration. Thank you for fighting together for free access to justice.
Want to get involved in 2019?
- Join our services volunteer team, regularly working on our premises
- Join our campaign volunteer team, carrying out research, networking, outreach and fundraising
- Find us a corporate sponsor or nominate us as your workplace’s Charity of the Year
- Donate or ask a friend to help us keep our vital services and campaign work going
A Greater Manchester response to the ‘decimation’ of Legal Aid
Last week, a BBC investigation revealed that up to a million people live in areas with no legal aid provision for housing, with a further 15 million in areas with one provider, among other shocking but predictable revelations.
Volunteers at GMLC reviewed the Legal Aid statistics published by Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency, which indicate that the number of solicitor firms providing civil Legal Aid in the North West have fallen by roughly 34.2% from 2011-2012 to 2017-2018, expenditure for not for profits providing Legal Aid has fallen by roughly 72.7%, and the number of not for profit providers has fallen by 55.9%.
We are calling for urgent action, including demanding that Greater Manchester MPs take up this issue and fight with us for free access to justice for their constituents.
No one is illegal: Supporting the Guardian & Observer 2018 Appeal
The 2018 Guardian and Observer appeal is supporting five charities which were instrumental in securing justice for the Windrush generation. Their work defends the rights of all whose lives are unfairly disrupted by the UK’s hostile immigration system. Amongst the charities is our the Law Centres Network.
GMLC Chair John Nicholson says: “Yes, we want justice for this generation – legal aid now, compensation for all those threatened or removed. Yes, we want clear information for all those worried – GMLC based in Moss Side has received dozens of inquiries from those in the community who haven’t wanted to ring the Home Office for clarification in case the first response, as usual, is refuse – and possibly remove.
And most of all we need an end to the “hostile environment” – against benefit claimants and migrants. The same language is used to demonise, while many people are affected by both together. It is time for a complete change of government policy. We need the restoration of legal aid, an end to vicious benefit sanctions and exorbitant health charges for migrants, the right to a secure home for all, and justice for all those who have been deprived and even deported”
The gift of free access to justice
Legal advice is a vital tool to help people out of homelessness. Many people become homeless because of unresolved legal problems, such as evictions by rogue landlords, unlawful benefit decisions, unmet care needs and being wrongly turned away when they seek homelessness assistance from the Council.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our Christmas appeal. Your donations will allow someone to access specialist benefits or housing advice, or allow someone the opportunity to present their case in court, or allow us to recruit, train and induct a new housing advice volunteer.
Missed the deadline for our Christmas appeal? You can still make a difference this winter. Support free access to justice here.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.