Staff and volunteers at a Chesterfield charity are still reeling with shock on learning they have won a prestigious award they did not know they had been nominated for.
Derbyshire Law Centre, which provides free legal advice in social welfare law to people on low incomes, was chosen as the Derby and District Law Society’s ‘Small Firm of the Year 2019’.
Based in Chesterfield, the Centre provides services throughout Derbyshire and has other offices in Bolsover, Buxton, Ilkeston, Matlock, Ripley and Eckington.
Law Centre co-ordinator Teresa Waldron secretly nominated her colleagues for the award.
“Each worker and volunteer is supportive. They make the organisation what it is today,” she wrote on the nomination form.
“Without their commitment, support, tenacity, expertise and drive to achieve social justice for disadvantaged individuals - there would be no Law Centre”.
One of the Judges, Sue Jennings, Head of Law at the University of Derby, said it was an ‘outstanding nomination which talks about a modest bunch of hard-working people who, with very limited resources and much good will, drive the social justice agenda and achieve outstanding results for disadvantaged individuals’.
Law Centre solicitor Lisa Haythorne was presented the award by the then Law Society President Ben Lawson. She said: “I was lost for words when I learned that not only had the Law Centre been nominated for this sought-after award, but we had actually won it.
“It is indeed a tribute to everyone at the Centre who works so hard.”