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About the organisation

Islington Law Centre

Islington Law Centre offers free legal help to people who could not afford a solicitor and helps ensure access to justice for the whole community.

We help with consumer, debt, education, employment, housing, immigration/asylum, public law and welfare benefits, and we are able to take cases to the Supreme and European Courts if necessary.

We have some specialist projects: Migrants’ Law Project, Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit and StreetLegal (a youth homelessness project), and deliver outreach sessions in a wide variety of community settings.

We help almost 3,000 people a year with legal issues, and have a live caseload of over 1,000 cases at any one time.

Help Deliver Access to Justice!

We are looking for volunteers to (mainly) assist with our form filling clinic on Wednesdays. We assist people to complete welfare benefit application forms (e.g. for Personal Independence Payments). These forms are long and can be confusing for applicants who unaided often struggle to complete them to obtain the benefits the law says they should have. We have an excellent success rate and if claims are not successful people can be referred to welfare benefit caseworkers for advice.

Volunteers work alongside caseworkers supporting all aspects of their work including: dealing with correspondence, preparing appeal bundles, recording statistical information, case file management and policy work. Volunteers have the opportunity to shadow caseworkers at client interviews and Tribunal hearings, and to be involved in various community events.

Training, close supervision & support are provided.

We are particularly interested in volunteers available on Wednesdays.

We hope that volunteering at the Law Centre provides an interesting and valuable experience within a friendly and supported environment. Travel and lunch expenses are paid.

We’ll ask you to complete an application form and if you suit our requirements, will ask you in for an interview and contact your referees.

Role Aim: 

To assist clients to completing welfare benefit applications, including some online applications.

To assist with statistical reports from the form filling clinic

To support caseworkers with welfare benefits casework including requesting medical evidence, drafting letters to the DWP

Duties: 

Assisting to complete forms which are checked by a caseworker or a supervisor

Follow up work from the form filling clinic

Supporting caseworkers with all aspects of casework eg drafting letters and undertaking research

Shadowing outreach/advice sessions and Tribunal hearings

Skills needed: 

Good command of written and oral English.

Good communication skills

Listening to clients and interpreting information

A non-judgemental approach to people with complex personal lives and/or health problems

A commitment to social justice

Training: 

Informal and on-going training on welfare benefits and the criteria

We invite volunteers to attend courses arranged for the welfare benefits unit

Location: 
In the office and at some outreach sessions eg at local authority offices, Children Centre's and an Islington based voluntary organisation. Office: 38 Devonia Road London N1 8JH
Time commitment: 
At least one day per week
Opening times: 
N/A
Once you’ve registered interest in this volunteering role, we’ll send your name and UCL email address to the organisation for their records. You’ll also receive information about the next steps to take if you do wish to take things forward. The organisation has signed up to our code of standards, which includes a commitment to protecting your data. We won’t share your information with anyone unless you’ve given explicit consent to. We’ll also retain your details so we can follow up to see how you’re getting on with your volunteering and offer support if necessary. We take good care of your data – you can see full details here