Fellow: Beth Holt

Derbyshire Law Centre

Derbyshire Law Centre was established in 1989, as Chesterfield Law Centre, with 4 workers. We are a registered charity and company limited by guarantee and are run as a not-for-profit agency. Our purpose was and remains to provide access to justice for disadvantaged communities through the provision of specialist, accessible free and low cost legal advice and representation to individuals and groups in Derbyshire.

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The Law Centre specialises in Housing, Debt, Employment, Immigration and Community Care law. We do not represent landlords, employers or creditors. We are the only Legal Aid Contract holders in Derbyshire for Housing and Debt, and Community Care. We also have a number of funded projects at any one time, covering such areas as refugees, homeless prevention, employment rights, discrimination, rights of European citizens, for example. Our main office is in Chesterfield, but we offer appointments in several locations around the county. Our communities can be isolated and rural as well as ex-mining villages and industrial towns. Parts of Derbyshire are recorded as being of high economic deprivation.

We seek to work collaboratively with partners, rather than in competition and concentrate on those areas of work and communities where social exclusion is likely and access to justice is difficult to obtain. We currently employ 18 members of staff, made up of 3 solicitors, a CILEX member, experienced caseworkers, co-ordinators, admin support and a volunteer telephone assessment team. We operate as a Workers’ Collective, where team work, enthusiasm and consensus are critical to ensure our success. The Law Centre is overseen by a Management Committee of up to 25 trustees, elected by the membership from the community, partner organisations and local authority funders.

For further information, visit our website.

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