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Harlow Citizens Advice launches new Law Clinic service

Harlow Citizens Advice is launching a new Law Clinic service on Monday 14th September.

The service offers Citizens Advice clients free 30 minute appointments with specialist solicitors who will be advising on housing, family, debt, wills and probate, criminal, welfare, employment, immigration, personal injury and medical negligence legal issues.

This is a valuable new addition to the existing advice service offered by Harlow Citizens Advice and will provide Harlow residents with a much-needed, free legal advice service.

Law Clinic Co-ordinator, Sarah Calder, said “We are very excited to be opening our new Law Clinic and we are extremely grateful to local law firms Attwaters Jameson Hill, Whiskers, TolTops, Jesse Douglas & Aaskells, Barnes & Partners and Foort Tayler for making this possible.  If you have a problem which you think you need legal advice about, pop in to Harlow Citizens Advice and we will do our very best to help you”.

All appointments with solicitors will be conducted in Harlow Citizens Advice offices at 13-15 East Gate and clients can call on 0344 477 0808 for more information.  The offices are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm.

Stephen Goddard, Business Development Manager at Harlow solicitors, Attwaters Jameson Hill, said “We are very pleased to be supporting the great work already done by Harlow Citizens Advice by getting involved with the new Law Clinic service and our solicitors look forward to helping local residents”.

 

 

 

Dancefusion

A unique collaboration between a local dance group Dancefusion and a local business owner Lou Moon of VA Toolbox, joined together to repeat and excel the event that they last staged together in 2012, when Lou was Chair of Friends of Harlow CAB.

This time around the event was slicker, smarter and ran as smoothly as a dream. The timing of the event was absolutely brilliant, everyone assembled on time in the bureau and it was a-buzz with excitement, not just from the children but also from everyone else. Robert Halfon MP, Kerri-Ann of DanceFusion and Lou Moon of VA Toolbox met for a mini photo-shoot with the children sitting in quiet anticipation around them on the dancefloor. Slowly but surely the area behind the children and the upper walkway began to fill with parents/carers/family and the curious. Robert Halfon warmly introduced the event after shaking hands with some of the children.

When the music and dancing commenced, the entire Harvey Centre was filled with cheers, as they raised the roof. There were 80 children from DanceFusion, led by Kerri-Ann Trowsdale through a total of 14 different performances, and each and every one was concluded with masses of applause. It was roughly calculated that approximately 300 people watched the entire show and there were at least 200 passersby that stopped for a short time. Lou Moon, who works closely with Harlow CAB and organised the fundraiser, thanked the cast of this amazing show, Robert Halfon MP, Media Hub for the sound, Harlow Volunteer Centre for providing support, the Harvey Centre for the use of the wonderful venue and presented Kerri-Ann with flowers.

Throughout the morning Lou had been supported by Tiziana Groom, Harlow CAB's Manager and the other volunteers. Lou was delighted to also be presented with flowers after her speech. After the event, the children all received sweetie bags, that were put together with the kind donations from Tesco and the Co-op and Kerri-Ann was given mini certificates to present to them during their classes. The funds raised will assist both the bureau and Dancefusion in the purchase of much needed equipment. These will be collected in one months time, when all of the sponsorship money, kindly given by the children's families and friends is gathered in. It is hoped that this will match, or even exceed, the funds raised last time.

Lou Moon - Friend of Harlow CAB (Owner of VA Toolbox and Careers Coordinator at St Marks West Essex Catholic School)


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Minister for preventing Abuse and Exploitation, Karen Bradley MP Visits Harlow Citizens Advice

 

Citizens Advice's work helping domestic abuse victims received a boost on Friday when Karen Bradley, Home Office minister responsible for tackling abuse, visited Harlow Citizens Advice. During her visit, with local MP Robert Halfon, Karen spoke to interim manager AJ Sanger to hear how local staff and volunteers are taking part in the national #talkaboutabuse campaign and the Ask Routine Enquiry programme, to help clients to disclose when they are being subjected to domestic abuse.

The minister, AJ and chief executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy later wrote about the visit for the Home Office website. Gillian said: "Many victims of domestic abuse are suffering behind closed doors. Through our ‘Talk About Abuse’ campaign, we are helping friends and family to spot the signs of abuse and encourage victims to contact specialist services".

Last year Citizens Advice reported a 24 percent increase nationally in the number of domestic abuse seeking help.

In harlow we dealt with at least 40 cases in the last year where clients have come to us with domestic abuse specific enquiries.

However, there were many more cases linked to domestic abuse, where the clients intially came to us with a different issue.
Mrs Bradley said its been really encouraging to see how the Citizens Advice service is identifying victims who don't realise they are victims, She said "We really need to find them before they end up in A&E".