Free Independant Legal Advice for Birmingham
To provide free independant legal advice to the citizens of Birmingham between April 2011 and August 2011, during which time there will be no services available in Birmingham due to funding cuts.
We are seeking temporary funding to enable us to service the 25,000 clients expected during this time.
April 2011 - August 2011
Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
The lack of free legal advice available to the citizens of Birmingham between April 2011 and August 2011.
Birmingham City Council has withdrawn all funding for free independant legal advice to the citizens of Birmingham while it restructures its funding provision.
Birmingham CAB sees 56,000 people a year seeking independant advice. These people will be without support during this time and will be forced into either paying for advice or becoming mentally, phsyically and financially worse off.
Our project will provide a free independant imaprtial legal advice to all those who need it. approximately 25,000 people during this period.
The project will be spread across Birmingham out of 5 offices and will be staffed predominantly by highly trained volunteers supported by several staff experienced in a wide variety of legal advice.
The advice given will cover a range of issues from debt advice, benefit claims and housing to border disputes, consumer advice and relationship breakdowns.
To provide free, impartial, independant, legal advice to the citizens of Birmingham.
Activities» Our aim will be met by providing multiple avenues of support. Facetoface, telephone and email advice as well as self help services across Birmingham
Success will be recorded and measured in several ways. Additional income, reduced outgoings, security of homes and other unique client outputs dependant on the advice requested.
In the long term this project will reduce homelessness and indebtedness for the people of Birmingham as well reducing other disagreements that can often result in long and costly legal disputes costing both people and the tax payers.
There will also be a benefit of having trained volunteers who will not only be skilled in advising others and gaing a feeling of achievemnt and community but go on to find full time employment, something that Birmingham CAB has a proven track record of achieving.
The main concern of this project is that the expected fudning in August does not materialise.
This would raise serious problems for the future of independant advice in Birmingham however during the period from April to August BCAB will be investing heavily in its volunteer recruitment and training to ensure that even with reduced or no funding available there will always be free independant legal advice in Birmingham even if this is at a drastically reduced level.
BCAB records all client interactions including details of what there problem was, the advice given and the outcome for the client. We also spend time to ensure that client satisfaction surveys are carried out to ensure our advice is the best in Birmingham. This info will be reported to our funders.
Budget - Project Cost: £250,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £186,000 Support staff 16 staff to train recruit and support 150 volunteers £39,000 office expenses phones, computers stationary to be used by volunteers £25,000 Premises the offices that Clients will come to. (rent, rates etc)
This project will spread over Birmingham. BCAB operates many outreaches through childcare centres, GP surguries and hospitals in Birmingham.
The main effort of this project however will be delivered from our 5 offices located in: Northfield, kingstanding, Handsworth, tysley and the city centre.
We will also have email and a telephone advice line for any one that cannot get to anyone of the physical avenues of advice provison.
Our services will be available to anyone that lives in Birmingham as shown by our wide spread of premises that we deliver the service from as wella s the telephone and email advice.
Our offices are situated deliberately on major public transprt routes as well as in areas of the highest deprevation in Birmingham, this was done to ensure that although our services are available to everyone, the hardest to reach and most in need have easy access to our service.
Our Charity specialises in the provison of Free impartial independant legal advice and has done for over 70 years.
We cover the whole of Birmingham and manage to keep the right balance of support for all while keeping a presence in all communities no matter how small or insular.
Birmingham is the area where this lack of advice is going to be and we are perfectly positioned to Bridge this gap with top level staff and experience until Birmingham City council renews its provision of support.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Volunteers X 150
The volunteers will provide the first level of support to all clients triageing them to find and solve the clients issues if it is there means.
Volunteer Support X 16
These staff will actively recruit and train volunteers as well as providing a source of knoweledge if a client requires additional support.
Specialist Caseworkers (Not Funded By This Project)
volunteers will have access to caseworkers who will inturn support or take over a case if it reaches a level that requires a specialists devoted time.
Management (Not Funded By This Project)
The management team will be tasked with liasing with funders and ensuring aims are met as well as ensuring the service is always to a high standard.