As a law firm Kirwans place a great importance on our local communities and the people within in and as part of that we are heavily involved with support groups in and around the Wirral.
One such group is Tomorrows Women Wirral (TWW) which offers a wide variety of services to women throughout the area. From health advice to support with job interviews, the charity is an intregral part of the local community to women from a variety of walks of life and backgrounds. Kirwans contributes by attending weekly and offering legal advice on numerous areas of law such as Family, Criminal Law, Motoring amongst others.
The work of TWW has been increasingly vital since April 2013 when Legal Aid cutbacks largely affected the Criminal Justice System and Family Law Courts. Despite being in place for over 18 months now, people still remain largely unaware that Legal Aid funding may not be available to them until they find themselves in a difficult situation.
Cuts are affecting separating families trying to share custody of their children or separate assets, divorces, driving offences, even some more serious criminal cases. Some of which may seem trivial to others but what if a conviction for a driving offence meant that you lost your job? What if not being able to afford a solicitor to speak on your behalf in Court, meant that you were too afraid to put forward your case? Or even preventing you from getting visitation to your children? Unfortunately due to these cuts it is all too often that we have to turn away clients because funding is no longer available.
As a Trainee Solicitor this causes me great concern on the effects this has on our local community and the impact it will have in the long term for the families and I feel an obligation to society to contribute via our involvement in many local organisations offering free drop in legal clinics to offer support for those no longer eligible for Legal Aid. Personally I am delighted to be involved with TWW to help women wanting to make positive changes in their lives.
With yet more cuts to come it makes me worry what the future holds for our local communities and the legal system but as long as there are charities such as TWW we can at least contribute to help people who need it most in our local area. We attend Tomorrow’s Women Wirral every Thursday from 11am – 12pm to offer free initial legal advice.