Law students from the University of Sussex are providing valuable support for the work of Sussex charity Brighton Housing Trust’s Advice Centre, and their contribution is being recognised during Student Volunteering Week (22 to 26 February).
The students, Hannah Brown and Aidan Seymour-Butler have been working in the Advice Centre since November 2015 helping with general office work, whilst being trained to give advice on deposit protection, tenancies and homelessness.
Nigel Parkinson from BHT commented: “We are happy that this scheme really helps the students broaden their knowledge and experience of legal work, but the contribution they make to our work cannot be underestimated. At times when our housing team is stretched to capacity, Aidan and Hannah provide vital support, which helps ensure our service can reach and help as many people within the city as possible”.
The students will be recognised for their contribution by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove when she receives them for tea in the Mayors Parlour to thank them for their volunteering.
Hannah Brown said: “I am able to offer an extra pair of hands at BHT, sharing my legal knowledge and offering a friendly face, always happy to help. BHT has helped me further my skills and knowledge about the legal sector which I can apply to my volunteering opportunities and my legal studies. I have learnt how to conduct client interviews, write advice letters, dissect complex case law and what it is like to work within a legal environment.”
BHT provides essential services across Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings, as well as elsewhere in Sussex in line with their mission, ‘combating homelessness, creating opportunities, promoting change’.
Aidan Seymour-Butler said: “As I did research for BHT I was impressed and a little intimidated by the breadth of the programme and how professional it looked. I have learnt about legal aid, client interviewing techniques, housing law and deposit protection. Working at BHT has been fun, hard and enlightening.”
The Trust challenge the causes of homelessness, poverty and marginalisation and employs over 250 members of staff who bring a rich assortment of skills, expertise and professionalism which is an essential ingredient of turning people’s lives around.