We work with Law Centres and advice agencies that provide a range of services including information, generalist and specialist advice, and/or representation in different areas of social welfare law such as welfare benefits, housing, employment, family, debt, immigration and asylum law.
Law Centres and advice agencies we have worked with include Advising Communities, Age UK, Brent Law Centre, Brent Citizens Advice Bureau, Cambridge House, Commons, East End CAB, Greater Manchester Law Centre, Greenwich University Legal Advice Centre, Greenwich Migrant Hub, Haringey Law Centre, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, Islington Citizens Advice Bureau, Kensington and Chelsea Citizens Advice, Migrant Resource Centre, Nucleus Legal Advice, Paddington Law Centre, Plumstead Law Centre, South West London Law Centre, Shelter, Toynbee Hall, and Working Families.
Our volunteers undertake a wide range of tasks on their placements depending on their confidence and experience and the needs of the Law Centre or advice agency at which they are volunteering. These duties vary but can include fielding and triaging new clients, signposting or referring clients, providing information and advice on next steps, reception duties such as welcoming clients, arranging appointments and answering calls and interviewing clients. Volunteers have also assisted by corresponding with third parties on client’s behalves, drafting advice letters and correspondence to third parties, writing up case summaries and attendance notes, conducting legal research, providing clients with information on legal processes such as the criteria and procedure to make a homelessness application, and assisting clients to complete applications for benefits such as Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment. PBC works as far as is practical to match volunteers with suitable placements and to meet the specific needs of advice agencies.
Placements are arranged according to the needs and policies of individual agencies but generally volunteers are expected to attend on one or two days per week for 3-6 months. Many volunteers continue their placement beyond the required minimum, resulting in valuable experiences for both the volunteers and agencies. Some volunteers have gone on to train as pro bono caseworkers or, in some cases, to gain employment with the agency at which they have volunteered.