Host Organisation: Suffolk Law Centre

Pippa Banham

Pippa is training to be a solicitor at Suffolk Law Centre, her areas of law will include employment and discrimination, immigration, housing and family.

Pippa graduated in law and completed the LPC in the mid 90s and has had a career break to focus on her family. During her time as a single parent, Pippa worked part-time for Citizens Advice for 18 years in different offices advising on social welfare law, developing a special interest in equality and diversity law, discrimination issues and championing access to justice. Whilst working for Citizens Advice Ipswich, Pippa collaborated with the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality to develop a project to prevent disability discrimination and unlawful sanctions by the DWP and encourage them to uphold their Public Sector Equality Duty. The project is called The 3Ds (Disability + Disadvantage = Duty) and enables disabled and long term sick jobseekers to identify and request reasonable adjustments from the Jobcentre Plus by amending their claimant commitments to avoid being sanctioned. The project was rolled out locally and nationally via the voluntary sector network and was nominated for the Citizens Advice Stand Up for Equality Award. Prior to taking up the Justice First Fellowship, Pippa was working as a discrimination legal adviser for Suffolk Law Centre as part of their Tackling Discrimination in the East project funded by the National Lottery.

A campaigner and activist at heart, Pippa was part of the core team for No More Page 3 which successfully persuaded the Sun to permanently remove their page 3 feature. She is currently campaigning for women’s sex-based rights as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Pippa’s other interests include, open water swimming and playing the cello: she is a member of Cello Aid, a Suffolk based group of cellists who fundraise for Suffolk Refugee Support. Pippa is a trustee of the Art Station, a non-profit arts organisation, developing the market town of Saxmundham as a creative hub within rural coastal Suffolk. Pippa is also a trustee of Citizens Advice Ipswich and co-founded a county-wide group called KOHRS (Keeping our Human Rights in Suffolk) to raise awareness on everyday human rights issues.

“Suffolk Law Centre is at the very heart of our community and I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this opportunity to complete my legal training here. I am extremely grateful to both the Legal Education Foundation and Suffolk Law Centre for recognising and harnessing my drive to make positive social change”

Project – Public Law in East Anglia (PLEA)

Inspired by Suffolk County Council’s recent decision to review their funding of Citizens Advice Bureaux in Suffolk, Pippa’s JFF project will use strategic litigation and Judicial Review as campaigning tools for social change in Suffolk. We believe there is a growing trend of lack of scrutiny in public sector decisions and we aim strengthen accountability to improve these services. Our focus will be policy decisions particularly affecting marginalised groups such as people with mental health and learning disabilities. By using established local networks to report issues to us we will identify problems, raise awareness and provide a service for disenfranchised individuals. Funding permitting, we hope to be able to develop this project further to permanently establish Suffolk Law Centre as a hub for triaging, case-working and referral on regional public law matters.

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