Expanding our community engagement

We are delighted to welcome our second community engagement manager, Eve Rogers, who joined us this month. Eve will be focussing on Kingston and Surrey.

The Covid-19 pandemic increased our awareness of the need for the Law Centre to be rooted in the community we serve, in order that we can be certain that we are reaching all those who need our assistance and to be sure that our services meet the needs of our community.

As a result, Eve will be mapping out the levels of need together with the current advice provision in Surrey with the view to assisting either the Law Centre to expand into Surrey or for another service to fully develop specialist legal advice.

Patrick Marples, CEO of the Law Centre, said:

“We have long been aware that Surrey has an advice gap for specialist advice in social welfare law. There currently is good provision of Citizen Advice across the county with some developing more specialist advice and representation services, however, like many non-metropolitan areas, Surrey has been listed as a legal aid desert by the Law Society. This means that people on low incomes are struggling to get the local face-to-face advice they’re legally entitled to. Eve’s role is therefore crucial in enabling us to take the necessary steps to rectify this.”

Eve has a strong background in communications and advocacy work for grassroots initiatives fighting for housing justice, LGBTQ+ rights and female empowerment us and will be working for us part-time whilst she works towards her LLM Legal Studies. She commented:

“I am excited to work with South West London Law Centres and other local stakeholders to map the provision of, and need for, legal advice in Kingston and Surrey. I hope to work with my community to further access to justice, local campaigns and grassroots skills-sharing.”

Eve will be at the Guildford Legal Walk on Monday 9 May and is keen to engage with local stakeholders there. She can also be contacted on eve.rogers@swllc.org