HCLC welcomes new Board Members!

IMG_0306We are delighted to announce that, following the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Hackney Community Law Centre, which took place on Monday 28th January 2013, we now have three fantastic new Board Members in Mary-Rachel McCabe, Elizabeth Ladipo and Adenike Ojo (pictured left to right).

After graduating in Law with Spanish from the University of Sussex, Mary-Rachel (pictured left) spent six months working as a volunteer caseworker at a migrants’ rights NGO in Brighton.  Following this, she completed a three-month internship at HCLC, where she predominantly assisted Hilton von Herbert in the Immigration department, but also co-ran the Law Centre’s weekly telephone advice-line and drop-in.  Mary-Rachel currently works for an employment law barrister in a London chambers, and also commissions and writes articles for The Justice Gap in her spare time.  She eventually hopes to qualify as a barrister herself, and practice in the fields of social and criminal justice.

Elizabeth (pictured centre) grew up in Hackney.  She has worked at local Hackney youth charity Off Centre for the past five years as an Advice and Information Guidance Officer, helping young people with their housing, education and unemployment problems.  Elizabeth has previously worked for a local authority heading up fostering and adoption recruitment drives and has also worked for National Children’s Home (NCH) on Family Intervention projects as a sessional worker.  Elizabeth is very interested in how the 2013 cuts to legal aid will affect young people from Hackney.  She hopes to part her part in ensuring that the HCLC Board of Directors keeps issues relating to young people at the heart of the Law Centre’s work.

Adenike (pictured right) was born in Hackney, and worked in the Hackney Community Law Centre as an intern in 2012.  She studied law at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, as part of the Socrates Exchange Scholarship programme.   She completed her LPC at the College of Law (London) and has a background in corporate/commercial law.

Welcoming the new Board Members, HCLC Chair Ian Rathbone said:

“I am very pleased that three new members of the Board have been elected. I know they will bring invaluable expertise to what we are doing.  And pleased that some members are continuing on with Board membership to maintain the necessary continuity needed.  We are sad to be saying goodbye for Kirsten Heaven and former Board Chair John Stewart who stood down in 2012.

It goes without saying that this year is going to be a heavy year but I am confident that we will overcome our problems.  We are now working more closely with other advice agencies in the sector in Hackney and I am hoping that we can all work together to ensure as much advice time and skill is available in the future as in the past.

I was very encouraged to attend the Law Centre away-day recently and see enthusiastic team members working hard to see how we can give the best possible offer to the people of Hackney, given the huge scale of legal aid cuts coming in April 2013.

The Board and team are looking to do their best to ensure poor and vulnerable people in Hackney continue to get access to justice”
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