Encouraging, supporting and nurturing local advice centres
HJA have just become involved with a legal advice clinic at St Michaels church, Camden. Due primarily to the commitment and organisation of their volunteers this is a very well run and effective session, aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable members of our local community.
The majority of people seeking advice find themselves in very difficult circumstances. These are people who are not eligible for legal aid and can not afford to pay for what for some is crucial and life-changing advice and assistance. For some this is just a stepping stone and an initial enquiry but for others this is their last resort, they have no-where else to turn.
The changes to legal aid and huge cuts that we continue to see make these clinics all the more important. There are hundreds of centres and clinics popping up all over the UK, particularly in London and other big cities. They are essential and need to be encouraged and nurtured. This clinic and those like it embodies HJA’s philosophy; “fighting for what is right”. Whether the people who attend these clinics need detailed and specialist advice or simply some reassurance or pointing in the right direction, sessions like these are essential for these vulnerable people and for our community.
HJA are also setting up their own advice session, commencing next week. I certainly look forward to forging new links and helping more members of our community through these sessions in the months and years to come.