Wednesday 18 May 2016
A team of walkers from leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, is joining forces with the local legal profession and advice sector on Monday 6 June 2016 to take part in the Exeter Legal Walk. The Exeter legal walk celebrates the continued work of the legal profession and advice sector in protecting people’s rights and promoting equal access to justice for all.
The Legal Walk is one of over 30 similar events which run across England and Wales. The after work sponsored walk raises funds for free local legal advice charities in Exeter and throughout the South West. Teams from local law firms, chambers and in-house legal teams are expected to come together along with local judges to support local advice services.
The event is run by the South West Legal Support Trust. It is part of a network of Legal Support Trusts, working with the Access to Justice Foundation, to facilitate the access to specialist legal advice for the poorest and most vulnerable people in the community.
Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive Steve Barriball said: “The cuts to civil legal aid have not only affected the legal profession, but have also drastically impacted the services provided to members of the public. Advice services, such as Law Centres and Citizens Advice, are struggling to provide free legal services on issues of housing and employment, meaning individuals seeking help and support may be faced with either having to pay for advice or do the work themselves without any specialist help.“
Steve continued: “Meanwhile, thousands more individuals and families are now unable to afford advice and are turning to free legal advice agencies for help. Many legal advice charities are fighting to survive. Since the legal aid cuts came into force the number of Law Centres has decreased by 20%. The closest Law Centre to Exeter is now based in Bristol.“
Steve added: “On 6 June lawyers from across the area will be walking to show their support for the advice sector. Despite the cuts to legal aid forcing the closure of many law firms the legal profession has always championed access to justice for all.”
Steve finished: “Our target is to raise £500 and we have already raised £200. Anyone wishing to sponsor our team can donate on-line by going to the Support Us section of our website (www.citizensadviceexeter.org.uk). Alternatively, sponsorship can be made in person at our offices in Dix’s Field”.