A highlight of the last month was our Manchester Law School student team being highly commended at the LawWorksandAttorney General's Office 2022 Student Pro Bono Awards. We're very grateful for this team who were committed to supporting people going through court without representation, as litigants in person, during the pandemic.
A team of ten students fully committed to their placement in our Manchester office, showing professionalism and engagement during a challenging year. They built a positive rapport with staff and core volunteers, showed enthusiasm and flexibility given the challenges we faced throughout numerous lockdowns and were positive ambassadors for the university. Their determination and resilience enabled us to support more people going through court, and their ideas enabled our Manchester-based service to thrive.
Feedback from Manchester Metropolitan University Law School demonstrates how effective the Support Through Court Manchester team were at a challenging time:
‘Support Through Court have pivoted to a helpline and online systems to be able to keep providing support to vulnerable court users. Our students have supported this transition and stepped up to volunteer when others have not been able or felt comfortable doing so amidst the difficult times everyone faced. We had a thank you for our students’ hard work, dedication and professionalism this academic year. They have been fantastic ambassadors for the university in the community.’
We had feedback from each of the students that they felt they’d been able to make a tangible difference to people facing a bewildering court system alone. One of the volunteers, Nadia, expressed her confidence in the work the team were doing:
‘I’ve supported many different people going through different issues ranging from survivors of domestic abuse and helping people at probate so you have to show empathy and understanding and simplify the issue as best as possible for the client’s understanding.’
It was a delight to attend the award ceremony at the House of Lords, and incredibly heartening to hear about the amazing pro bono work students are doing across the country. It was a lovely occasion to stop, reflect on the work of students committing to our services throughout the pandemic, and to celebrate all they've achieved.