The Advising Islington Together project is funded under the Big Lottery’s “Advice Service Transition Fund” grant programme.
The Law Centre is working with partners Islington People’s Rights and the CAB, and a steering group including Voluntary Action Islington, Octopus (the community centres network), Renaisi, Disability Action in Islington, Latin American Women’s Rights Service, IMECE, IKWRO and Help on Your Doorstep, to deliver a range of initiatives to improve access to advice and to maximise the impact for residents.
The project runs from August 2013 to July 2015 and achievements in the first 18 months include:-
- More than 500 people have been helped at our form filling clinics, with volunteers helping local people claim what they are entitled to, bringing an estimated £300k into the borough, directly into the pockets of some of the lowest income residents
- We have trained 324 individuals from 88 organisations working in Islington as “Advice First Aiders”, supporting the training with specialist packs
- We have established a Welfare Benefits Advisors Forum, bringing together 57 people, from 26 different organisations, to share training, take up policy issues and support each other
- We have produced 2 local research reports, with a 3rd in production
- We have established a range of new pro bono and volunteer schemes, including a regular legal advice clinic for guests at a night shelter.
We are actively seeking resources to enable us to continue key strands of work at the end of the current grant.