We empower local people on low incomes to know their rights and defend them. Here are some of their stories.

We’re really grateful to each person who shared their story with us, so that we can share it with you. Most names have been changed and the photos are not of the individuals themselves.

You can also hear from local people we’ve supported in this clip from the BBC’s The One Show in 2020.

If you’d like to help more people in our communities to get justice, you can. Any gift you can give, and skills you can volunteer, could make a life-changing difference to someone at the most difficult point in their lives.

28 May 2024

“It’s been a blessing to have such a skilled expert on my side.” 

*Harrold faced an uncertain and distressing future when he came to see Paul Keeley. Harrold had recently lost an appeal against deportation following a conviction for possession with intent to…

2 May 2024

“I can close my door at night and know nothing will happen to me anymore. My children and I are finally safe.”

*Sarah is a single mother facing challenges with literacy and multiple mental health issues. These difficulties necessitate regular assistance with her daily routines and managing her medication. Sarah endured severe…

5 April 2024

“People like me are able to get the help that they needed, without any worry about cost.” 

Sushmita, a 46-year-old professional in the culinary sector, endured severe discrimination at her manager’s hands, leading her to fall into depression while continuing to work in a damaging environment.

20 February 2024

“I am grateful to the South West London Law Centres for providing me with such an amazing solicitor.”

Marieme, a 60-year-old national of Mauritius, found herself ensnared in a web of trauma and persecution, stemming from her experiences of sexual and gender-based violence, including child marriage, domestic abuse, and involvement in drug trafficking.

31 January 2024

“From the first moment I came to the Law Centre I knew exactly what I had to do”

Hetel, is a working single mother of two children, who had accrued rent arrears after her benefits had been stopped. She was informed that she needed to attend court where a judge would decide whether she would get to keep her home

14 December 2023

“They saved my life. I don’t know how can I explain… I love this building and the people”

Struggling to provide food for his wife and children, Ashan reached out to our Law Centres about an array of challenges including housing issues, financial struggles, and health problems following his two open-heart surgeries.

28 September 2023

“I was frightened, and I didn’t know how to deal with a situation like this”

*Mary had dedicated over a decade of her life to her job, but on April 1, 2022, her journey took an unexpected turn. A heated dispute between two colleagues unfolded,…

5 September 2023

“I have nothing but gratitude for this life changing service”

*Hugo, a French citizen, arrived in the United Kingdom with his parents at the age of 4 months. He was no longer in contact with his British father and lived…

27 July 2023

“Without them I would have lost my home. Actually I would have lost everything.”

Talia*, a single mother, relied on Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance, and Child Benefit to support herself and her two children, both of whom were at school. Talia was also struggling…

4 July 2023

“It was quite scary and I had no idea what to do or where to start.”

Julia, a mother grappling with depression and alcoholism, found herself in the Croydon County Court’s waiting area. With no one to turn to and a staggering £12,000 in rent arrears…

9 May 2023

“With the help of the Law Centre, I have my life back”

‘I came from Bulgaria to live in the UK for a better life. After living with friends for a year, I was finally able to move into my own apartment…

20 April 2023

Thanks to you we could start living normally again

‘I first came to the UK in 1995 and settled here in 1999. I was living here for a long time but due to family circumstances I had to go…

16 March 2023

When she helped me I felt I’d found the solution to my problem

‘I’d tried to apply for universal credit many times and asked many people for help but I couldn’t get through the whole form. I just couldn’t do it. I was…

13 February 2023

I was hopeless. You gave me hope again

Youssouf* came to the UK from West Africa in 2010 on a student visa to escape civil war; both his parents had been killed some years previously. During his time…

19 January 2023

I couldn’t have got through it without your help

‘I had to change jobs when I discovered I had a heart condition so I could do something that wasn’t so physical. I got a job as a GP receptionist…

13 December 2022

You helped me confront my debts and sort everything out

‘I was living in a women’s refuge because I’d had to flee domestic violence. The council referred me to the Law Centre for help with my debts but to be…

23 November 2022

I will appreciate what you did for me for the rest of my life

‘My partner passed away in 2020. I was distraught and I didn’t know what to do because I’d been living with him for so long. We were partners and I…

1 November 2022

She saved my life. I didn’t think I had a future

Elisé (not her real name) was a political activist in her home country. Members of her family had been killed for their political affiliations and she had been detained and…

17 October 2022

I was going to give up my claim… and then I got in touch with the Law Centre

‘I’d worked in my organisations for 12 years before I left. I started off as a receptionist and I worked my way up. I got quite close to a management…

21 September 2022

You’ve gone out of your way to help me

‘Ten years ago I was a victim of fraud from a member of my family who took advantage of me by using my credit card. They took out loans in…

4 August 2022

The world was closing in on me… I am so grateful everything is now sorted

‘I came to live in the UK from Spain in the winter of 1965 and it’s been my home ever since. I was working in a hospital and was given…

20 July 2022

You were amazing – I’m so relieved the situation got resolved

‘I was working a normal retail job when I started getting regular letters. One said you have to pay x amount to the government. I didn’t take any notice of…

30 June 2022

You were there for me during a very difficult time

Inara* had an arranged marriage in her home country. Her husband was violent towards her, forced her to have an abortion and took a second wife. She managed to flee…

31 May 2022

The special attention and time she gave me made a big difference

‘I had a stroke on a train and someone told me I should do a PIP claim. My GP surgery gave me the number for the Law Centre. I spoke…

28 April 2022

I’ve got my head above water now

‘I was working throughout the pandemic, but when the pandemic lifted I went down in a spiral and got into deep depression. It was so bad I couldn’t go to…

31 March 2022

Thank you for saving my home

I first contacted the Law Centre in February 2019. I was £3,000 in arrears on my mortgage and the building society had applied for a possession order on my home….

17 February 2022

I don’t have to worry about losing my home any more

‘I was living with my four-year old daughter in a one-bedroom council flat. I’d applied for permanent residency in 2018 but it had been refused. I’d also applied for the…

18 January 2022

From now on I will be able to move forward

‘Two years ago, I was diagnosed with an incurable illness which I was told would shorten my life. I spent some time in hospital and, initially, received sick pay. I…

15 December 2021

Since I contacted the Law Centre I have achieved so much

‘I was going through a lot of stuff. There was so much on my plate. I had council tax arrears, rent arrears and my mum had passed away. I had…

1 December 2021

I appreciate her hard work from the bottom of my heart

Sami,* a former translator who worked with American and Allied forces in Afghanistan, is a client of our immigration team. He came to the UK in 2016, claimed asylum and…

4 November 2021

Words cannot describe how relieved and happy I am to have contacted you

‘Fifteen years ago I was in a relationship with a man who had a history of mental health issues and drug abuse. If I’d known then what I know now…

20 October 2021

I couldn’t have found a way out of my situation without her help

‘My problems started when I got behind with my rent. I’d gone to Citizens Advice and was going through the process with them and then lockdown hit. My situation got…

6 September 2021

She helped me get to where I am now when no one was looking out for me

‘My situation became bad when my husband started taking drugs. He would shout at me in front of the kids to give him money and throw things in the kitchen,…

24 January 2022

‘You have to choose between heating or eating’

We and five Wandsworth charities have issued a stark joint warning today that many local people are unable to afford to heat their homes this winter, as freezing weather and…

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