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Law students to run drop-in advice sessions with Bristol Drugs Project

Press release issued: 27 July 2016

A new partnership between the University of Bristol's Law Clinic and the Bristol Drug Project will provide monthly drop-in sessions for vulnerable people who are striving for change.

The partnership between Bristol Drugs Project and the Law Clinic will see students providing legal advice to people who struggle to gain access to the formal legal support they need to start taking back control of their lives.

A recent report  by Bristol City Council's Substance Misuse Team shows Bristol has the highest estimated rate of people using opiates and crack cocaine of all major UK cities – a situation frequently compounded by alcohol, and physical or mental ill health.

People whose lives are affected by drug and alcohol use often experience restricted access to housing, public services and education, problems with benefits, debt, domestic violence, fragile family networks, criminal activity and more.

John Peake, Director of the Law Clinic at the University of Bristol, said: "We are dedicated to providing pro-bono legal advice for those that most need it. Working with partners like Bristol Drugs Project also provides students with a deep appreciation of the issues facing our community's most vulnerable people."

As part of Bristol's ROADS (Recovery Orientated Alcohol & Drugs Service), Bristol Drugs Project (bdp) worked with around 5,000 people last year to make major changes in the way they live.

Maggie Telfer, CEO of bdp, said: "bdp strives to help people move on from problematic drug or alcohol use in order to flourish, support their families and contribute to their community. The people we work with want change, but can sometimes feel overwhelmed by problems such as debt and poor housing.

"This brilliant partnership with the Law Clinic will connect people with the legal advice they need to get started on resolving those problems and help accelerate change."

The first drop in session takes place at Bristol Drugs Project, 11 Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE on Monday 1 August. The session will run from 11am to 12.30pm.

The next session is on Monday 5 September, at the same time.

Further information

The University of Bristol Law Clinic helps students gain the very best clinical legal education through the provision of pro-bono legal advice. It is organised and run by students, who are supported by members of academic staff, and by trainee lawyers and barristers from leading solicitors’ firms and chambers. The Law Clinic is currently accepting referrals from Bristol Citizens Advice Bureau and the Personal Support Unit at Bristol County Court, while also providing direct support to members of the public.

For appointments, please contact Louise Chalice, Executive Assistant to the Law Clinic, either by telephone: 0117 954 5340, by email at: or in person at University of Bristol Law School, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ. 

Bristol Drugs Project was founded by local people who saw a need in their communities to create support for people whose lives were affected by drug and alcohol problems. Now 30 years old, bdp remains passionately committed to helping people achieve independence from drugs and alcohol by reducing alcohol and drug-related harm, encouraging behaviour change, challenging prejudice and maximising people’s potential.

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