| Eccles Shelter residents reveal the flaw in homelessness provision | Get your tickets: Access to justice: why we need law centres | At the frontline of legal aid cuts: our column in the Law Society Messenger | Inspiring the next generation of social welfare lawyers at the University of Manchester | Building Equality: Racial Justice & The Housing Movement, Saturday 16th February |
“I joined the Law Centre because I was keen to use my legal skills and knowledge to ensure those with genuine claims received the support they are entitled to” – Lily Lewis, GMLC volunteer
Eccles Shelter residents reveal the flaw in homelessness provision
We are representing a group of homeless people who established a hostel in a vacant doctors’ surgery. They are facing possession proceedings by NHS Property Limited, who are seeking to evict them. On 31st January, a Judge made an order for possession. On Friday 1st February, we successfully applied for a stay, meaning that the homeless people can remain inside until a decision will be made at a later hearing.
Their spirit, common sense and commitment to basic human dignity is inspiring and it has been an honour to work with them. Importantly, their struggle is not unique: we work with many homeless people who have been wrongly turned away by authorities who have a duty to help them, or homeless people who have felt that they have had no choice but to turn down offers of support that are completely unsuitable for their needs.
Homeless people don’t just deserve charity, they deserve legal rights to a secure home. And where they do have these rights, they must not be denied.
Get your tickets: Access to justice why we need law centres
Join us for the Greater Manchester Law Centre Manifesto Launch, with: Richard Burgon MP, Shadow Justice Secretary and GMLC Patrons Maxine Peake and Robert Lizar.
Access to legal advice, representation and justice can empower people, reduce homelessness and poverty, challenge the hostile environment against claimants and migrants, enforce people’s rights and prevent inequality and exclusion.
“As a society, we cannot call ourselves democratic if the most vulnerable within our society cannot gain access to justice… This encompasses people being able to get access to disability benefits, it encompasses homelessness…”
Maxine Peake, GMLC Patron
GMLC defiantly opened in 2016 despite starting with no premises and no funding, but with a commitment to fighting with others for free access to justice.
- Since then, we have thrived thanks to hundreds of volunteers and supporters.
- We have won huge victories for the people who come through our door.
- We have been a powerful voice for Legal Aid and housing and welfare reform.
Our manifesto will set out our demands for change, declare what we stand for, celebrate our work so far and call on others to fight with us for free access to justice.
At the frontline of legal aid cuts: our column in the Law Society Messenger
We have a monthly column in the Law Society Messenger. This month, GMLC volunteer Lily Lewis gives her perspective of the impact of Legal Aid on her work.
“There is a gross inequality in a system in which those with money and power are entitled to proper representation and yet those who bear the brunt of their decisions are not.
“For me personally, working at Greater Manchester Law Centre has brought into sharp focus the human costs of legal aid reductions. However, getting involved with the centre has also meant getting to know an amazing group of campaigners, lawyers and members of the community who are totally committed to fighting for the rights of those who need effective advocacy the most.
“The sad truth may be that this work shouldn’t fall to voluntary organisations like us, but if you care about ensuring everyone gets the advice, support and representation they need to realise their rights, please consider supporting the law centre”
Inspiring the next generation of social welfare lawyers at the University of Manchester
Our volunteers Arwa and Marcus, and development worker Roz, spoke to students at the University of Manchester, encouraging them to take up opportunities in social welfare law.
We will not allow cuts in legal aid to be the death of the social welfare lawyer. GMLC aims to be a home for passionate social welfare lawyers in Manchester, where a commitment to using the law to fight for social justice is kept alive.
Building Equality: Racial Justice & The Housing Movement, Saturday 16th February
On Saturday 16th February, 2pm-4:30pm at the Moss Side Millennium Power House, 140 Raby St, Manchester M14 4SL, local housing campaign groups Tenants Union UK and Greater Manchester Housing Action are hosting an event to explore the interconnection between race, class and housing in the UK and US. There will be a focus on the segregation of minority communities, urban displacement in the UK and how gentrification is racialised.
This event is open to all.
GMLC supports housing campaign groups in our community who share our principle: everyone has a right to a secure home.
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