Elle Todd – Partner, Reed Smith
I have been involved in the KIND UK project for over 3 years and there were many reasons which drew me to joining. Having a politics degree background and being interested in policy around immigration, I knew I wanted to know more about this in practice and the real stories and lives behind the headlines.
The project was a great way to do something tangible over a longer period and to work with a smaller group of people compared to my other pro bono work which is more ad hoc. My parents have always done a lot of charity work with asylum seekers and seen the ‘human side’ of things, which I wanted to support on too, while also educating myself and working on something which would provide real life benefits to families in need.
“Just to say an enormous thank you to you and all the team and Anna who is working behind the scene. I cannot express my gratitude. Everybody is so happy.”– KIND Client
My first case was working with a family from a country in the Southern hemisphere, with one child who has special needs. We have worked with them for a long time and have got to know the family well. We were delighted to get a positive outcome for them, in which they have been granted the right to work and the right to access public funds, which was amazing. The children are now able to access further education and both parents are now working in the health sector.
One challenging case that I worked on related to a family who had become increasingly demoralised since they were not allowed to work and were living in fear that they could be deported. It was initially difficult as I took over this case from a partner who was leaving the firm and, since I had not worked with the family before, I did not have the same built up rapport or relationship. Nonetheless, we managed to get the matter back on track and were successful in securing leave to remain, access to public funds and the right to work. For the parents, it is amazing to see what joy and respect it brings to them and that they now have the ability to work and provide for their families.
It is always great being able to deliver good news and we were able to invite the families into the office and meet the children, which was lovely. Hearing that they were no longer scared of walking in the streets in fear of the threat of deportation was emotional. I was also able to speak to one of the older children who had not been told about their situation previously and to explain why they were visiting a law firm and what this outcome meant for their family and for their own future. The child went away being interested in a future career in law which was lovely!
I am in awe of the skills and knowledge of the KIND supervising solicitors we get to work with, for the workload they have to bear and for having to keep on top of all the constant legal updates and policy changes. We could not do what we do without their expertise and support.
Kids in Need of Defense UK – a unique pro bono opportunity
We provide free legal advice and representation to undocumented children and young people via our partnerships with lawyers and law firms across the country.
We offer a unique pro bono opportunity, with no immigration experience needed – all training and supervision is provided by our expert immigration lawyers.
Taking on Kids in Need of Defense UK cases means making a commitment to children and young people who would not otherwise be able to access legal representation. By partnering with KIND UK, by volunteering your time and expertise, you can help change the course of a child’s life forever.