Host Organisation: Central England Law Centre

Hanna Nicholls-Findlay

Hanna studied Law with Spanish at The University of Nottingham and had the opportunity to study Spanish law in Madrid for a year. She volunteered at Gloucester Law Centre during the summer holidays and began to understand the impact of the LASPO legal aid funding cuts on social welfare law, the important role that Law Centres and other social welfare law practices have in ensuring access to justice and the importance of protecting these organisations.

Whilst at university Hanna volunteered with Student Action for Refugees, taking part in English conversation groups for refugees and asylum seekers. She was also involved in community organising groups in Nottingham where she learnt of the impact that groups working together can have on achieving political and social change and took part in campaigns to raise awareness of human rights issues.

After graduating, Hanna lived in Spain for a year teaching English at a secondary school. In 2018 she worked as a legal assistant for a housing association in Birmingham for 18 months which sparked her interest in housing law. During this time Hanna studied the Legal Practice Course part time. She then worked as a housing adviser at Gloucester Law Centre where she was able to put some of her previous housing knowledge into practice as well as gain invaluable experience in defending possession proceedings and homelessness law.

Her positive experience at Gloucester Law Centre and having the opportunity to attend the Law Centres Network Conference in 2019 encouraged Hanna to apply for a Justice First Fellowship training contract at Coventry Law Centre.

Project

Central England Law Centre has been providing legal support and advice to improve the lives of people and local communities in Coventry since 1976. We believe that by activating and embedding rights in communities we can change the cultures, systems and behaviours that reinforce unfairness, disadvantage and inequality, and ensure early and preventative action is taken to protect the rights of socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and communities.

As well as helping people move from crisis to stability, we deliver services that help people anticipate problems by acting early and tackling the root cause. Hanna/Catherine will be assisting our caseworks in providing free specialist legal advice and representation in Birmingham and Coventry to people who cannot afford to pay for it in the following areas of social welfare law:

  • Social Care and Health
  • Welfare Benefits
  • Housing
  • Public Law
  • Immigration and Asylum
  • Employment

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