March 1, 2024

Local Solicitor Helps to Influence Change in Support for Disadvantaged.

Written by Georgina Arthure
Georgina Arthure

Family Law Solicitor Georgina Arthure has been invited to be the voice of the legal sector at a new steering group set up to help the disadvantaged in our region.

Swansea Neath Port Talbot Regional Advice Network (SNPT RAN) is a group of local organisations, all of whom play an integral part in advising and helping residents of each local authority.

Members include Coastal, Law Works, Shelter Cymru, Swansea MIND, Neath Port Talbot Council, Swansea Council, Age Cymru, and many more, and have come together for the first time under the SNPT RAN banner to coordinate the advice and support they offer.

“For people facing issues with health, housing, abuse, finance and the like, there are many organisations out there who can help,” said Georgina, “and for the end user, it can be a complete minefield, so this group has come together to look at ways in which everyone can work together more cohesively.”

Supported by the Welsh Government, one of the objectives of the group is to understand the support each member can offer, how people can access the support and any shortfalls each organisation is facing that prevents them from delivering their support services.”

“Understanding what each organisation offers is a huge exercise in its own right,” said Georgina. “We must find a way to understand the support that’s available, the criteria that are needed to access the support and how to signpost people to the right help at the right time,” she continued.

Attending in her capacity as a pro-bono solicitor, Georgina was invited by Professor Richard Owen of Swansea University who heads up the pro-bono legal work undertaken between local solicitors and law students at the University.

“We’ve been running the pro-bono programme for many years, and we see first-hand the high demand for free legal advice,” said Richard, “and Georgina’s expertise in family law means she has direct experience in helping disadvantaged individuals in the local area, so I invited her along to share her views,”

With the drastic reduction in Legal Aid over the last decade, disadvantaged individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to escape from environments that pose a direct threat to themselves, their children, elderly relatives and anyone they may be caring for.

Further SNPT RAN meetings are due to take place over the coming months however one positive is that the agencies and organisations now have a platform to collaborate which ultimately, should benefit the disadvantaged of our region.