Hanover Park House, 14 -16 Hanover Park, Peckham, London SE15 5HG      TELEPHONE : 0207 732 2008
Welcome to Southwark Law Centre

 

Becoming a Trustee of Southwark Law Centre

Mission, Aims, and Objectives

Southwark Law Centre which is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee was founded in 1976.  The objectives set out in our Memorandum of Association may be summarised as the relief of poverty, suffering and distress through the provision of free, impartial and confidential specialist legal advice and representation. Our main focus is supporting disadvantaged people who live, study or work in the London Borough of Southwark though our constitution allows us to see clients from other London Boroughs.

 We provide specialist legal advice and representation, which is free and of high quality in the areas of discrimination, employment, housing, public law, planning, welfare rights, and asylum/Immigration law. We target people who could not otherwise afford to receive legal services. Each year we directly help around 800 people, and reach many more by way of training, information and campaign work.

We prioritise cases which involve the prevention of homelessness, destitution, discrimination, breaches of human rights and poverty.

For the past 3 years a priority has been to develop a Law Centre in Lewisham. The last Law Centre closed over 10 years ago. We now provide housing and immigration advice and registered with the Law Centre Network as a full member in July 2020. We have a strategic plan to continue to develop Lewisham Law Centre, expanding into other areas of law such as employment and discrimination.

In addition to individual case work we provide training on legal rights and legal support to local advice and community agencies. We also campaign to influence law, policy and practice and promote human and civil rights.

We currently employ 17 caseworkers (some part time), 2, para-legals, 2 trainee solicitors 3 admin officers a practice manager and a director. We also have on average 6 volunteers at any one time who provide support for the caseworkers.

We are members of the Law Centre Network which provides valuable support to the Director and Trustees.

Funding

The Law Centre’s main source of funding comes for contracts with the Legal Aid Agency. This accounts for around 35% of our income. Our next biggest contract is with Southwark council. We are the lead specialist legal advice provider and work in partnership with Cambridge House Law Centre and Migrant Legal Action to deliver this contract. We also have a number of grants from Charities such as Children in Need, The Legal Education Foundation, the National Lottery and Trust for London.

Governance

Our constitution enables us to have a maximum of 13 trustees who are elected at our AGM. The trustees are also directors of the charity for the purposes of the Companies Act 2006. Trustees are members of the local community who offer their skills and knowledge on a voluntary basis to oversee the strategic running of the organisation.

Day to day running of the organisation is delegated to the Director.

The trustee board meets at least 6 times per year which includes our AGM (usually held in October) and an annual planning event held in January.

We have a finance sub committee and a human resource sub-committee which meet as required and report to the main Trustee Board.

Other than the annual planning day all meetings take place in the evening (usually 6-8pm) currently by Zoom.

Full induction is provided for new Trustees and ongoing training is offered. Trustees are asked to maintain confidentiality and to report conflicts of interest.

Main Responsibilities of Trustees

  • Ensuring that the Law Centre’s mission and planned activities are within the purposes set out in the Law Centre’s governing document

·          Determining the overall direction and development of the Law Centre through good governance and clear strategic planning

  • Protecting, managing any assets of the Centre and ensuring proper investment of funds
  • Ensuring the Law Centre applies its resources effectively
  • Ensuring that funders requirements are met and restricted funds used in accordance with grant agreements.

·         Ensuring that the Law Centre, and its representatives, function within all legal and regulatory requirements applicable

  • Abiding by the Centre’s policies including equal opportunities and child protection and safe guarding policies
  • Contributing to good decision making by listening, contributing appropriately and using any specific knowledge or experience to assist the board in decision making

The skills, experience and commitment we are looking for:

  • A commitment to the organisation and its objectives
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship and being a company director
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to trustee duties
  •  Strong independent judgment
  • An ability to work effectively within a team

.

Skills, knowledge and experience trustees bring can includes:

  • Use of Centre’s services
  • Local knowledge
  • Involvement in the tenants’ movement
  • Community development
  • Financial management
  • Legal background
  • Fundraising
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Computers and information technology
  • Campaigning
  • Premises management/development
  • Voluntary sector management
  • Understanding of equality and diversity issues

For an informal discussion about the role please contact the director sally.causer@southwarklawcentre.org.uk

 

Services During the Covid -19 Restrictions

Southwark Law Centre continues to provide a specialist casework service, in the areas of immigration, housing employment, discrimination

and welfare rights

Referrals and support for other agencies 

Southwark Law Centre provides second tier advice for other agencies on 020 7732 2008 - Mon to Fri 09.30 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 17.30.

If we can’t take a referrals we will try to provide advice on next steps.

If you are an existing client of Southwark Law Centre and need to speak to your caseworker please telephone us on 0207 732 2008 or email your caseworker

Please do not come to the office without an appointment

If you are a member of the public needing advice

Citizens Advice Southwark has now resumed face to face drop in sessions from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm 5 days per week at its 3 offices:

Peckham - 97 Peckham High Street, SE15 5RS

Bermondsey - 8 Market Place, Southwark Park Road, SE16 3UQ

Walworth – 6-8 Westmoreland Road, Walworth, SE17 2AY

Citizens Advice telephone advice : Public number -0344 499 413 

For help with Universal Credit- Citizens Advice Help to claim 0800144 8444

Lewisham Law Service

Our major new development has been the setup of a new Law Centre in Lewisham

Please click here or go to the Lewisham Law Service page for more information.

Our organisation

We are a registered charity and are governed by a trustee board of local residents.  

To view our audited reports please click here.

To view our 2018 - 2019 annual report please click here.

What our Clients have Said

"I would like to say thank you for all the help and advice your service provided. I do not know how I would have coped

and managed without your support on more than one occasion."

"Excellent Job has been carried out on my case and I am very happy for that. Please keep it up, well done. Thank you."

 

"I was very happy with the service I have received and I felt that I was treated well and with respect."  


Privacy Notice

Any personal data you give to the Law Centre, its staff and Volunteers for the purposes of seeking advice will be confidentially and securely stored in accordance with our data retention policy (a copy of which is available on request).  It will be held by the Law Centre as Data Controller and will only be used for the purposes of considering and where appropriate conducting your case. It will not be disclosed to any third parties and will be securely deleted in accordance with our data retention policy.  You have a right to be told what data we hold about you (though you are likely to have provided us with that data) and to have it corrected if it is wrong.  You may have other rights under the data protection legislation and you can find out more about these rights from the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk

Company registration number: 1418763 • Charity registration number: 277927

 Office of the Immigration Service Commissioners reference is N201000009

Only 4 weeks to go to the annual London Legal Support Trust walk sponsored walk. This is a 10k walk around central London- thousands of people walk to support legal advice, and there is a great street party at the end (and a free drink)

Southwark Law Centre and Southwark Day Centres for Asylum Seekers are walking to raise funds to provide legal advice and

support for disadvantaged migrants and refugees. Together we aim to fight the hostile environment and promote Southwark as a

Borough of Sanctuary.

If you would like to join the walk, please contact sally.causer@southwarklawcentre.org.uk.

If you can’t walk with us please sponsor the walkers at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SouthwarkLC19

Please circulate the link to your contacts

If you use social media – please promote the walk atTwitter #legalwalk@londonlegal  Facebook London Legal Walk

Tweets by @SouthwarkLawCen

1.    Only 4 weeks to go to the annual London Legal Support Trust walk sponsored walk. This is a 10k walk around central London- thousands of people walk to support legal advice, and there is a great street party at the end (and a free drink)

Southwark Law Centre and Southwark Day Centres for Asylum Seekers are walking to raise funds to provide legal advice and support for disadvantaged migrants and refugees. Together we aim to fight the hostile environment and promote Southwark as a Borough of Sanctuary.

If you would like to join the walk, please contact sally.causer@southwarklawcentre.org.uk.

If you can’t walk with us please sponsor the walkers at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SouthwarkLC19

Please circulate the link to your contacts

If you use social media – please promote the walk at:

Twitter #legalwalk @londonlegal  

Facebook London Legal Walk