Walking for access to justice #WhyWeWalk

As more and more free legal advice services close, this is #WhyWeWalk in the London Legal Walk

“Now I feel I have actual rights that I didn’t know I had before. I feel a lot more confident than I did before I was working with Z2K”.

Z2K has participated in the London Legal Walk every year since 2016 – and this year is no different! On 13th June 2023 staff, trustees, and supporters of Z2K will be walking with hundreds of other charities, law centres, lawyers and barristers that provide vital free legal advice and representation.

The event is a disability friendly 10k walk through Central London to raise money for the organisers London Legal Support Trust (LLST) and all the other organisations like Z2K that provide free access to justice. Ending with a street party with loads of food and music, the day brings together over 10,000 walkers including judiciary members, barristers, students, advice agencies, and solicitors to walk in support of frontline free legal aid services.

If you are able to support us to ensure free access to justice, please visit our fundraising page: Z2K fundraising page.

So, why do we walk?

In 2022, Z2K was able to provide over £2.9 million in financial benefit to 1,038 clients through our free in-depth and holistic advice, support, and representation at tribunals. But as poverty and destitution levels rise in the UK the demand for social security benefits and housing advice and advocacy increases, and as more and more free legal advice services are closing due to cuts to legal aid fewer and fewer people can access support.

Often people must battle to get the support they are entitled to and for many, navigating the system has become near impossible without additional support. Additionally, charities like Z2K are facing increased demand for services whilst seeing incomes diminish. Fundraising from the London Legal Walk helps us to continue to meet the increase in demand, but we need your support.

Please donate what you can afford to our fundraising page: Z2K fundraising page.

£5 could answer the phone to someone who needs advice or advocacy

£10 could support our policy and campaigns work to create systemic change

£20 could provide representation for someone at Tribunal when they are wrongfully denied disability benefits

£50 could help provide emergency food shopping for a family struggling with the cost-of-living rises

As well as showing why section 21 notices should be scrapped, the case below is a prime example of the difference free legal aid can make to those in vulnerable situations. For this client, receiving support from Z2K meant the difference between having shelter and being made homeless.

A highly vulnerable client with poor mental health was facing a bailiff eviction following a Section 21 notice.

The client had approached the council to seek emergency accommodation. Until the day before the eviction, the council was wrongly refusing to provide her with any accommodation – leaving her at high risk of street homelessness.

Our caseworker intervened and set out to the council how it had breached its legal duties. This led to the council reversing its position and providing accommodation for the client, sparing her the ordeal of sleeping on the streets.

Cases like this are #WhyWeWalk in the London Legal Walk every year, to guarantee that everyone has the right to free legal advice and representation to prevent further poverty and homelessness.

Check out the video (right) to hear why one of our trustees, Siobhan, is walking with team Z2K in this year’s London Legal Walk.

If you are able, we would be grateful if you could sponsor us by visiting our fundraising page. Donating as little as £5 contributes to our ability to help ensure more vulnerable low-income Londoners secure their legal rights and entitlements and maintain their tenancies.

Thank you for your support!

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