Central England Law Centre

Central England Law Centre

At a glance

Causes

  • Children / families
  • Counselling / advice
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Poverty relief

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Regional

Objectives

As a Community Law Centre, we’re using our legal knowledge and expertise to help build a more equal society. We believe that legal rights play a key role in this, and our mission is to activate rights in the communities where we work.

Our visions is a fairer, more just society in which an understanding of rights and their power is embedded within communities.  

We provide free specialist legal advice to those most in need in Coventry and Birmingham and use legal processes to fight inequality. We advocate for people, challenge unfair decisions, take cases to the highest courts and work in partnerships with other support services.
As well as helping people move from crisis to stability, we deliver services that help people anticipate problems by acting early and tackling the root cause.

During 2021/22 we assisted over 5,800 people across our two offices with new law related issues.

Activities

We believe that activating and embedding rights in communities is critical to changing the cultures, systems and behaviours that reinforce unfairness, disadvantage and inequality, and ensure early and preventative action is taken to protect the rights of socially and economically-disadvantaged individuals and communities.  We call this our rights in the community strategy.

The key driver for our approach and the biggest volume of our activity is our work with individuals to ensure more people are protected by their rights and to build their understanding of where they can use legal rights to protect themselves in the future:

  • We defend and enforce the rights of clients, advocating for people living in some of the most marginalised communities, challenging unfair decisions and taking cases to the highest courts.
  • We support people’s legal capabilities, working with our clients to help them navigate problems better in the future and keep their lives on track.

We believe that working within communities to activate and uphold rights is the most effective way to tackle both the drivers of issues and the issues themselves, thereby preventing intractable and often cyclical challenges. We form close partnerships with other community-focused services to help to place legal rights at the heart of their work and to activate a rights-based approach in their interactions with service users, blending our work with theirs so that together we can offer more holistic support to people:

  • We will support front line organisations by embedding an early-action, rights-based approach into their day-to-day transactions with individuals and communities;
  • We will develop relationships and collaborative action that creates a community of partners united in ensuring people’s rights are upheld and challenging when they’re not; highlighting injustice, inequality and poverty and seeking change in legislation, local and national policy and practice.

We build alliances with organisations committed to identifying and tackling systemic injustice using legal processes to create fairer legislation and policies that reduce poverty, inequality and discrimination:

  • We identify and share evidence of strategic issues, service gaps and patterns in clients’ needs and use it as the basis for our strategic action and influencing activity and, internally, to ensure that our strategic focus is aligned with current issues and needs.
  • We take strategic action at a local, regional and national level to influence change in policy and legislation, ranging from strategic litigation, membership of local statutory steering groups, boards and advisory bodies through to the work of the Strategic Public Law Clinic, work on national campaigns and responding to calls for evidence.

 

Current opportunities

West Midlands, CV1 2HL

Central England Law Centre provides specialist legal support to clients in Coventry and Birmingham. We use our legal expertise to improve the...