Free legal advice on offer in Wigan as union's campaign aims to improve lives

A trade union's campaign to make a difference to the lives of people in Wigan will see free legal advice on offer this weekend.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) launched a pilot project in the borough earlier this month to highlight the importance of having good food and offer advice and support.

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Under the title of the People Powered Community Action project, they will provide free legal advice from qualified lawyers in Wigan town centre from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, along with free refreshments.

The launch of the campaign earlier this month

National president Ian Hodson said: "We are helping to build solidarity in the community and listening to what people say on how to strengthen our links across Wigan by identifying what people need to empower their lives.

"In recent weeks we have had some good conversations with the community, who have been signing up to a petition calling on the Government to enshrine in law the right to food. The campaign and the people signing are clear: food poverty is a political choice and politicians have the power to end it if they choose to."

John Fox, a local organiser of the campaign, added: “A number of people have enquired about their rights and spoken about the high cost of lawyers. When people cannot afford to enforce their rights, it leaves them vulnerable to injustices.

"Our response is that we will be running a pop-up legal advice clinic which people can access for free this Saturday in Wigan with Greater Manchester Law Centre. People will have the opportunity to discuss the legal issues they face and if ongoing support is needed, the law centre will try and help them work out how to get it."

Further town centre events are being planned as part of the project, including a mental health awareness event by the Ron Todd Foundation on Saturday, February 12 and a Zero Hours Justice event on Saturday, February 26 with union advice and the campaign organiser Julian Richer, from Richer Sounds.

A spokesman for Wigan Trades Council, which is supporting the initiative, said: "We are in the midst of the hardest of times for working class people and any local free help and advice that can be offered is welcome. We urge people to attend the event and get the support that they feel they need."

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