Passage 2000 supports and represents those who need to regularise their immigration status whilst sleeping rough so that they can access benefits accommodation and employment. They used their grant to employ a solicitor to help with the legal process, who was assisted by two volunteer solicitors. They aim to help at least 20 individuals per year.
G was trafficked into the UK and forced to work from the age of 5 years old. She worked as an unpaid maid for them and was routinely beaten and abused. When she was a few years older she was sold on to another family who treated her in a similarly horrific fashion. This continued for 10 years.
Aged 15, she managed to escape and run away from the house she was so scared of. Without money, language skills or an understanding of normal life in the UK she lived on the streets before being found and placed in the care of social services.
Through her Law Centre she applied for refugee status but disputes over her age and lack of documentation caused many delays and initial refusals. She has now been recognised as a victim of trafficking and is beginning to build a new life.
Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau has used the money they received from the Access to Justice Foundation to maintain a ‘Telephone Advice Helpline’ for 18 hours a week. An example of their invaluable work involves the advice they gave to a 27 year old student in part time employment. The CAB immediately recognised that he was being underpaid, He was advised to raise a grievance with his employer and, if the matter was still unresolved, to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal. Two weeks later, the client informed the CAB that his employer had conceded, and had now increased his pay to the national minimum wage and allowed him to have paid holidays.
The Access to Justice Foundation, PO Box 64162, London WC2A 9AN. DX 234 London Chancery Lane. The Access to Justice Foundation is a company limited by guarantee (No. 6714178) and a registered charity (No. 1126147). Registered office: The National Pro Bono Centre, 48 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1JF.
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