Pro Bono Opportunities with Together for Short Lives

Together for Short Lives is the leading UK charity that speaks for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and all who love and care for them. Families caring for these children - often 24 hours a day, seven days a week – are under enormous emotional, physical and financial strain. These are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives. LawWorks has partnered with Together for Short Lives to develop pro bono support for these families.

Together for Short Lives Legal Advice Service

Underpinning the legal rights for children who are life limited and their carers is the requirement under national and international law that they should be supported to live “ordinary lives”, even at a time of intense pressure on public finances.

Our purpose is to deliver a programme that assists children, young people and their families to obtain legal advice and ensure their rights are protected and enforced. Our in-house legal team has successfully piloted our first Together for Short Lives Legal Advice Clinic at Richard House Hospice in East London and following this pilot we are now able to open up the opportunity and we are looking for volunteers to get involved in this work.

To be eligible to get involved your organisation must be a member of LawWorks. If you are not a member of LawWorks and would like to find out more visit the membership pages on our website

Volunteer Opportunity: Together for Short Lives Legal Advice Clinic 

We are now looking for a panel of lawyers from member organisations to assist families with their legal queries at clinics in children’s hospices.

This may involve referral onto other local services, for example, solicitors with legal aid contracts, where the issue at hand falls within the scope of legal aid and taking care of any follow up casework, when the issue falls outside the scope of legal aid.

We welcome interest from lawyers willing to provide advice and casework across a range of relevant areas of law including but not limited to:

  • housing
  • community care
  • welfare benefits
  • employment
  • family.

For lawyers not undertaking these areas in their day-to-day practise and wishing to acquire the necessary knowledge of these areas of law, Lawworks offers training in community care and housing law. In addition, volunteers will be supported by our LawWorks in-house legal team.

The volunteer lawyers will assist families as appropriate, by acting for them as their solicitor, advocating for them and advising them on a range of legal issues.  They will also be able to make referrals to our secondary specialisation team where the family requires in-depth support in certain areas.

Volunteer Opportunity: ‘Secondary Specialisation’ 

The Secondary Specialisation volunteer lawyer team will need no prior knowledge of social welfare law because they will be fully supervised and trained by our in-house legal team to develop a secondary specialism.

We have professional indemnity insurance in place to cover all work done under the secondary specilisation project.

Our experience in pilot has identified two particular areas where we aim to develop volunteer expertise to support the needs of the families we are working with:

  1. challenging the suitability of a family’s accommodation, and
  2. challenging the suitability of their child’s care package.

Volunteers will be given the necessary training and support to develop the expertise required to give in-depth pro bono support to families experiencing these issues.

If you are a member of LawWorks and would like to discuss this opportunity, please contact: Matt Hunt

If you are not a member of LawWorks and would like to find out more visit the membership pages on our website