Thalatha Wickramasingha 0

Funding Cuts to Greenwich Law Centre

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STOP funding cuts to Greenwich Law Centre on 1st October 2011 If Greenwich Council`s current funding recommendations are agreed at the meeting on 20/9/11 it will result in a loss of service to the community by the Greenwich Law Centre after 27 years at the premises in Trafalgar Road . The Centre provides free advice and representation in Housing, Welfare Rights , Employment, Immigration, Discrimination and Debt and currently has 738 open cases . The centre also has a dedicated form filling service for those who have difficulties with this -eg;making claims , replying to legal documents etc . As the situation stands the centre will not be able to work on these matters from 1st October , and other agencies are already overwhelmed and unable to help. The Centre is the only provider of free immigration advice in the whole borough and around 100 clients will therefore have nowhere to turn. Many of our clients are disabled , elderly or have mental health or language difficulties .They need an accessible service based in their own community and would have great difficulty accessing advice from other parts of the borough or using proposed telephone lines to obtain appointments elsewhere . While many thousands of pounds seem to be used in the borough for regeneration and the Olympics, local residents will again be losing out due to these proposed cuts. £196,000 will be lost in total in comparison with last year leaving the future of the Centre as unsustainable . Additional to the advice services the Centre also provides training and support and many local residents and students have gained useful experience as volunteers . Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds – students ,retired ,unemployed and people wanting to improve their skills and confidence after periods out of work due to childcare or health problems . At a time when the government is making supportive comments about volunteering and the “Big Society” this service will also be lost to the local community .

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