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WHAT'S IT LIKE TO VOLUNTEER FOR SWLLC?

 

 

Magdalen Christie- Debt Adviser

 

I started volunteering at SWLCC because I thought it would be a valuable activity alongside studying law at university. Working in the Debt Team, I was given lots to do from my first day, with much more practical work than I had expected, as well as completing online training. My work has included applications for grants, Council Tax Reductions and negotiating clients’ repayment plans with creditors. I have enjoyed meeting clients and seeing how the Law Centre’s help has had a positive impact on their situations. This experience has developed my communication and inter-personal skills as well as teaching me a great deal about social welfare. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had here, and know that everything I have learnt will be helpful in the future.

 

I would thoroughly recommend volunteering at SWLLC! Volunteering here has been the highlight of the GDL!

 

 

Ksenia Stolpovskikh- Receptionist

I started volunteering at SWLLC in February 2018 because I thought it was a great opportunity to learn first-hand about being in a Law Office. Being a third year Law student, I found that experience particularly valuable and I truly believe it did help me to get my first graduate job. I have learned to face clients from different backgrounds and assist their problems accordingly. Additionally, I was able to apply the skills I have learned as a law student and my interpretational skills in the job on the daily basis.  I am immensely thankful to all the people at the law centre for making this journey as comfortable and enjoyable as it was. I am very graceful for all the support my colleagues have provided me with for whatever it was – work or personal issues.

Overall, I have had a few very happy months at the law centre and I will be missing it when I leave.

 

Oscar Morales- Recruitment of volunteers

I started to volunteer at the Croydon branch of the Law Centres in January 2018, as a Receptionist/ Administrator because I wanted to gain experience in a office environment and improve my skills to prepare for a paid job in the future. However, I am now volunteering within the HR department, assisting my colleague to screen the many applications we receive from people interested in volunteering; this new role helped me to gain an insight into my real passion, which lays in recruitment and training. I am grateful about this new opportunity; I have become more confident about what I will want for my future career. I know I still have to learn a lot about HR, however I wish to thank SWLLC because they gave me the chance to explore new possibilities.

 

 

Grace Benton- Debt Adviser

 

I started volunteering at South West London Law Centres after a career change.  I wanted to get some experience in social welfare law and learn about how a Law Centre works. I volunteered in the Debt Advice team and I was quickly given lots of responsibility. I was pleased that I had lots of contact with clients. The team were really generous with their time and very focused on giving training and support. I learnt loads! 

 

Thanks to my experience volunteering and references from SWLLC I have now got a job at the Law Centres Network and at my local Citizens Advice Bureau which I am really pleased about.

I'm only sad that I won't be able to volunteer any more !

 

 

Vanessa Bela - Receptionist and Administrator

A Business Managment student from St Marys University, Vanessa chose South West London Law Centres to complete a 60 hours placement to pass its relevant modules. 

On her volunteering experience with us, Vanessa has said:

" Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your reception team. I have learned so much in such little time. Everyone at the Law Centre welcomed me with open arms and I enjoyed every bit of it.

 

I literally could not believe it was the end of my placement as I have had so much fun."

 

 

Juste Raipaite - Legal Caseworker

"I was offered the chance to volunteer at South West London Law Centres in 2017. At first, I thought that the experience would help me gain an insight into how law is applied in practice as this is never really covered at University. However, it did much more than that. I soon realised that many of the clients that the Law Centre assist are treated unfairly because of government policy much of which needs to change urgently. That is why this role is so rewarding and time is of the essence when there is so much work to be done.

I started off as a receptionist and then was offered a role of a casework assistant which gave me an insight in the application of legal nuances. This is ideal for a law student, or anyone with an interest in governmental policy or law. I am more than happy to have joined a great team of SWLLC and I can’t wait for the new challenges that await. I am very happy that I chose to volunteer at a charity with such a fantastic worthwhile cause."

 

 

Danita Perrineau- Receptionist and Legal Caseworker

"I started volunteering for South West London Law Centre at the Croydon reception towards the end of my degree to gain some valuable experience in a legal environment. Being on the reception has been really exciting as I’ve been able to interact with clients, listening to their issues and directing them to the right departments so that they can get the help they need. I had initially started off on reception, but I was then given the opportunity to volunteer as a casework assistant, which meant I was able to work more closely with the solicitors and their cases. This gave me great legal experience and I’m now able to apply the skills that they taught me to my new full time legal job. Although the law centre has helped me to get this job today, the experience is great for anyone - not just someone looking to get into a legal environment, as it can offer you full on client interaction and administrative skills which are adaptable to numerous jobs today. The law centre really cares about their volunteers and you can guarantee that they will be looking after you from the day you start. If I was to do things differently, I would have started volunteering earlier on in my degree, as they are very flexible with what days you can help and are so understandable when it comes to other commitments which meant it would have fit perfectly around the rest of my studies. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and would highly recommend everyone else to volunteer too