Law for Life welcomes new Trustees

We are delighted to welcome Dr Vanessa Davies, Professor Dawn Oliver and Raymond Sheehy to join the Law for Life Board during an exciting time for public legal education and in a challenging climate for access to justice.
Law for Life Chair, Amanda Finlay OBE says:

‘Now more than ever, people need the knowledge, skills and confidence that public legal education provides. I am delighted that three such committed supporters of PLE will be joining the Board. They bring a wealth of talent and experience and I look forward to working with them to ensure that PLE reaches more people and supports them as they tackle life’s challenges ‘

Dr Vanessa Davies has been the Director General of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) since 2011. Prior to joining the BSB, Dr Davies was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations at Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ).

She started her working life as a linguist. She was the Director of the Language Centre at King’s College, London and then spent nearly a decade at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, first as Director of the Diplomatic Service Language Centre and subsequently as a Group Director overseeing a range of services in support of UK foreign policy.
Dr Davies left the world of languages in 2005 and trained for the Bar. She is an unregistered barrister, and a Bencher of Inner Temple. She was a volunteer at the Personal Support Unit and a Trustee at the PSU until 2016.

Professor Dawn Oliver recently retired as Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at University College London. She served as Dean of the Faculty from 1993-98 and in 2007. She was editor of Public Law from 1993-2002, and has been a distinguished member of many Commissions on constitutional issues. Professor Oliver was elected a Bencher of the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple in 1996, and was Treasurer of the Middle Temple in 2011. She was made Queen’s Counsel, honoris causa, in 2013. Earlier in her career she ran two legal advice clinics in the 70’s. She was also a part time consultant for Legal Action Group, writing updates on social welfare law. She was a Trustee of the Citizenship Foundation. She is now a volunteer with the Personal Support Unit.

Raymond Sheehy has been the Chief Executive of Bridge Mental Health in Woolwich since 2009. Previously the CEO of a learning disability and mental health charity, he is currently Lead Governor of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and a Panel Member on the Monitor Independent Advisory Panel.
Mr Sheehy is now working with his team on the development of new models of delivering services; social and commercial enterprises, and a range of innovative support and housing options for people who have experienced or continue to live with a mental health problem. He has established the first non NHS run Recovery College which now serves the people in Woolwich”

Notes to Editors:

About Public Legal Education:

Each year around one million non-criminal legal problems, such as money difficulties, loss of job or housing issues, go unresolved.

Only 11% of people accurately recognise their problems as legal issues.

The vast majority of people tackle their legal problems alone – only 6% use a lawyer and 4% use advice agencies.

A quarter (25%) of those with a legal problem seek help on the internet.

Using survey data from the Legal Services Research Centre, economists at
the Ministry of Justice estimated that the problems people experienced over the three and a half years covered by the survey cost individuals and the public purse around £13 billion.

Effective public legal education would help people avoid these problems in the first place, enable them to identify legal issues and take action early before problems escalate.

Our work

In 2015-16 Law for Life’s Advicenow award-winning website Advicenow provided information and support to over 1.2 million people Advicenow’s curated information service brings together 1,600 pieces of public legal information from over 250 UK websites. Every piece is reviewed against our inclusion criteria. Around 92,500 people used Advicenow each month in 2015-16.

Our ‘in person’ education and training provision supported 50 groups, including African Women’s Care, Hackney Community Law Centre, Rainbow Care Community Association, and Refugee Action. Our e-learning courses were completed by 451 learners.

Our international work continues with Icelandic Human Rights Centre and French NGO Avijed. Via our international teaching and consultancy services we reached over 60 justice organisations from more than 25 countries.

Published: 24 April 2017

Copyright © Law for Life · Website by Jason King