Host Organisation: Ealing Law Centre

Syeda Afaz

Syeda is passionate about helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds and her career began in 2013 as a volunteer generalist adviser with Camden Citizens Advice Bureau, advising many clients on a range of complex legal matters, including housing, welfare benefits, immigration, debt and employment.

Syeda was born and brought up in Bangladesh. In 2009 she started her legal studies as a mature student whilst having parental responsibilities for two young children. Syeda completed a Solicitor’s Exempting Degree from University of Westminster achieving an Upper Second Class Hons in Law and a Commendation in the Legal Practice Course.

In 2016 Syeda worked at London Borough of Islington within the anti-social behaviour and tenancy department. In this role she supported tenants and residents enabling them to live in a safe home where they could thrive and live well.

Syeda has experience in dealing with the investigation of a variety of types of anti-social behaviour including neighbour disputes, nuisance, violence and harassment. She always takes an evidence based approach and recognises the importance of a thorough investigation including the gathering of evidence and information sharing with external and internal agencies.

Syeda has supported resident survivors in domestic violence investigations, managing risk and implementing control measures ensuring that the resident is safe.

Syeda is delighted to have been given the opportunity to train at the Ealing Law Centre where she is committed to achieving access to justice and promoting a more socially inclusive society for all by providing first class legal advice.

Project – Legal advice in health sector

Syeda is currently developing idea for her project which will focus on legal advice in health sector. Syeda has experience of dealing with clients who were seeking repetitive medical help due to their housing situations. She understands the link between ‘unresolved legal problems and ill health’ a research carried by Professor Dame Hazel Genn under The Legal Education Foundation’s funding in 2018. Syeda is hoping to develop a ‘legal clinic’ where patients could benefit from face to face legal support, especially in areas such as housing, where problems do tend to cluster. She intends to work together with a local GP surgery to develop an integrated health and legal services to enable access to justice.

The project would drive to empower those who works with patients such as health professionals and receptionists by organising basic training sessions so that the patients can be signposted as and when needed. It also involves setting up a monthly drop in surgery where patients can obtain face to face legal advice. Syeda also intends to set-up a referral mechanism for legal areas which cannot be covered at the drop in sessions or for cases which may require further intervention.

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