Volunteers are the backbone of the law centre.

“I came away from the experience with new friends, skills and a better appreciation of the vital work Law Centres do across the country” – Chris, GMLC volunteer

From the beginning, we have been more than a Law Centre. We are a campaign for free access to justice. We demand free legal advice and representation for all who need it, and we challenge unjust legislation and policy.

Volunteers help to provide our services, maintain our infrastructure and run our campaigns. Many people volunteer with us, from law students looking to help with our free advice and legal services through to local people campaigning on issues that affect themselves or others in Greater Manchester.

Please check our Job and Volunteer Vacancies page for current volunteering opportunities.

In the meantime, if you would like to register as a member, please click here. Members get a say in the overall direction and strategy of GMLC. If you wish to donate or set up a standing order to help us fund our much needed legal services, please do so here.

What do our service volunteers do?

Our service volunteers help provide our free advice and support to the public, as well as keeping on top of enquiries into our reception. Our service volunteers help us to triage and process questions from the public or other organisations, as well as carrying out casework. Many are legally trained or law students, but others do not have a legal training and help with other aspects of our services. When we have service volunteer roles available, we post them on our Jobs and Volunteer Vacancies page here.

Examples of our service volunteering roles:

  • Triage Volunteers (reception). Our first contact is managed by volunteers. We train Triage Volunteers to understand what information is important to work out if we can take on a case, as well as how to refer on to other organisations accurately and supportively.
  • Community Welfare Support Volunteer (form-filling). These volunteers help our benefits clients to understand and fill in DWP paperwork, which can often be difficult, especially for people with, for example, disabilities or language barriers.
  • Legal Advocacy Support Programme volunteers. Usually Law students or graduates, these volunteers support clients through benefits appeals hearings.

 

 

What do our campaign and fundraising volunteers do?

 

Research and Writing

Volunteers research and write articles on topical legal issues, so that we can use our platform to bring important legal questions to the fore. These articles have been picked up by external news sources such as the Legal Voice, Manchester Law Society Messenger, The Manchester Meteor, and widely shared on social media.

Some of our articles:

 

Protests and Legal Observing

We have worked with Green and Black Cross to train Legal Observers to attend protests to support the communities we represent. Volunteers have also attended demonstrations with GMLC, including protests around disability rights, unfair policing, employment rights and housing.

 

Events Organising and Support

Volunteers provide integral support at our events, including meetings on legal issues and our Annual General Meetings. They also attend other events to set up GMLC stalls or give out leaflets to let people know about our services and campaigns.

 

Fundraising

Volunteers organise fundraising events and activities to support our fight for free access to justice. For example, GMLC volunteers organised a team for the Great Manchester Run 2018 and raised over £2,000.

GMLC-ASDA-Jan-28th-2017_for-web
Local students volunteering in Manchester
Service volunteers image
Reception volunteers image
Image shows GMLC team members and volunteers holding a banner reading 'Bolton against Covid evictions'
Image shows a full room at a GMLC AGM, with a volunteer in the foreground signing people in and giving out agendas and reports.
Image shows GMLC team holding GMLC placards at a Bexley Square commemoration demonstration, where people fought for welfare rights

Influencing Policy

Campaign volunteers have helped us reach out to organisations who have the power to make decisions. They help with Freedom of Information Requests, requests for signatures on briefing and petitions, and petitioning authorities to make changes to their policies in our legal areas. They also share our social media and articles to help us reach new audiences with our campaigning and services.