Following the closure of many advice organisations and law centres across the city, the official launch of the Greater Manchester Law Centre has been warmly welcomed. Based in Moss Side on Princess Road, the law centre provides free, independent legal advice and representation to residents in all ten metropolitan boroughs in Greater Manchester. Additionally, the centre also focuses on campaigning for greater access to justice and the restoration of legal aid.
Since the law centre’s launch in February 2017, increased help is available for people facing welfare benefits issues. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form completion support is offered and caseworkers at the law centre support individuals facing sanctions and negative ESA decisions. Solicitors are also able to help people in relation to employment, prison and mental health law, as well as providing advice on community care and disability concerns. As the centre becomes more established, it is likely that its provision will increase accordingly.
For individuals in the Greater Manchester area, the professional help that the law centre provides is proving invaluable. The greater connectivity the centre seeks to promote in the city also benefits those who need their services. The centre has links with several organisations including the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and Manchester Mind to ensure that the information and advice given is accurate.
The need for clear, free legal advice has never been more in demand. For all people seeking help from soup runs and support organisations in Manchester it’s vital that they are made aware of the law centre’s provision. Street Support will aim to assist on this where possible.