Birmingham Community Law Centre (BCLC) is a member of Gateway to Birmingham Advice Services (GBAS): a partnership of 15 organisations led by Birmingham CAB. Over the last two years, we have been working together to improve access to advice services for all Birmingham residents and to ensure that clients take the shortest route to the most appropriate advice. The delivery model is shown here:
Some clients will have complex cases that need legal representation and they are frequently the most in need with nowhere to turn or they have limited options available to them. With the reduction/removal of Legal Aid, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide for this client group. We will address this by providing our specialist advice services to GBAS partners and others and using our experience of welfare benefits, debt, community care and public law challenges in the higher courts.
We will also secure regular and ongoing pro bono legal representation from Birmingham based firms of solicitors in order to help us meet this ever increasing demand.
Working closely within the GBAS partnership has also allowed us to influence policy at a local level and we have collaborated on the development of a general advice sector strategy for Birmingham as well as a specific immigration advice strategy.