Second year Sociology student, Sian McGuinness has been awarded 1st runner up as well as being ‘Highly Commended’ in the CLOCK national ‘Access to Justice Foundation Award’ - in conjunction with the Law Works & Attorney General’s Student Pro Bono Awards 2016, held at the House of Commons.
The Access to Justice Award 2016 recognises the work of individuals and educational bodies in promoting and supporting access to justice and charities which provide pro bono services. There were nominations from law schools across the country and they were judged by the Foundation’s trustees, of which, Lord Peter Goldsmith QC is Chairman and presented by the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP.
CLOCK, is a unique and innovative project with universities, law firms, barrister chambers, mediation, charitable and court sector to collaboratively train law students in the innovative role of ‘the community legal companion’ to understand the complex needs of their local community and provide assisted access to legal aid, affordable and pro bono services for access to justice. The University of Wolverhampton signed up to the project in 2015 and ran a successful pilot programme called (WLC) Wolverhampton Legal Companion, with trained students from the Faculty of Social Sciences volunteering their help in a McKenzie friend role at an information desk at Wolverhampton Combined Court Centre. CLOCK has also pioneered direct public access to a secure application assistance IT system, supporting global access to promote community legal education, services and research, for access to justice.
Speaking about her experience of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton, Sian said, "As a rather anxious and apprehensive mature student returning to full time education after many years, I have found student life and my personal learning experience within the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wolverhampton as a real journey of discovery in what I am capable of achieving .... I certainly never believed I would ever step foot on a university campus, let alone study at degree level. The university and it's supportive and warm staff have provided me with the key to a door I believed was closed to people like me. Simply, thank you all".