Our feasibility study showed a lack of provision of the specialist type of service we provide for young people within this borough, which is why this facility was opened.

There is no other specialist legal advice service for young people in the borough to get free independent legal advice that is youth centred and suited to young people’s needs.

We are a specialist legal advice service for young people in the borough of Wandsworth, London, UK, giving free independent youth centred legal advice helping young people with housing and obtaining social services support.  We work with young people from every community, care leavers, young carers, disabled young people, asylum seekers and migrant children and their families.

That then enables young people to find other services they may need with help from our youth advice network, such as counselling, or get on with education or finding employment.

Our Opening Gates project is a specialist homelessness service for young people to assist them through the homelessness process, with telephone and/or face-to-face advice about their legal rights, making local authority appointments, accompanying them to interviews and chasing for decisions.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF LEGAL WORK

 

COMMUNITY CARE

youth legal represents clients from the local community who have issues with regard to community care provision. Any issues relating to social services and their service provision to the disabled, elderly and minors.

 

HOUSING

youth legal provides assistance for people facing homelessness and tenants facing possession proceedings/eviction.

 

WELFARE BENEFITS

youth legal gives basic, non-specialist advice on welfare benefits issues relating to disability, employment support allowance, housing benefit and rights of residence in relation to our Housing and Community Care cases. If specialist advice is required, we will refer out.

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Partnership

 

We will achieve our aims by working together with Young People to continue to develop the services that are specific to their needs and in partnership with young people's and other voluntary services already available in the area.

 

Along with the specialist legal advice service at Ashburton Youth Club run by Regenerate, we have outreach surgeries in the offices of Youth service providers in the area to enable us to reach as many young people as possible.

We are working in partnership with Lifetimes, the Council for Voluntary services in Wandsworth. They provide training, advice, information, networking and opportunities for participation and involvement in local policy to all voluntary and community organisations in the borough.

We are involved with the Wandsworth Advice forum. It’s aim is for the advice sector to work collaboratively throughout the borough.

We will continue to work closely with Family Action's Mental Health Support Team and Young Carer's projects. We have regular contact with WOWMums, work closely with Merton and Wandsworth Asylum Welcome, Migrant Children's project and Asylum Welcome Young Adult's Group meeting,

We will continue to carry out training for local voluntary organisations on the legal rights of Young Carers, Care Leavers, and Disabled Young People on community care issues including training on the new Children & Families and Care Acts, and Homelessness.

 

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