Vincents staff join Big Sleep Out to help homeless young people

Fundraiser for Lancashire’s Key Charity follows firm’s domestic violence partnership

Nina Ellement and Beth Laws from Vincents Solicitors’ family law team are hoping for a dry night as they join the Key Charity’s Big Sleep Out, raising money to support homeless young people across Lancashire.

The pair will bed down on the pitch at the Lancashire Football Association in Leyland alongside 30 other people on May 12 th as part of the charity’s event to ‘shine a spotlight on homelessness’. Anyone wanting to sponsor them can do so via the fundraising link here Nina and Beth’s Big Sleep Out.

The money raised will boost the charity’s Drop In Centre service which provides homeless young people aged 16 – 25 with a safe place to go during the day to grab a shower, use the computer and charge a phone, clean their clothes and make a meal. The base in Leyland can also be used as an address for homeless people to have their post delivered and use to apply for a job or benefits.

Nina, a senior family law solicitor based in Vincents’ Preston office, said: “I’ve never been camping and I’m quite nervous about sleeping outdoors on a football pitch even with all of the other fundraisers. But that’s the point isn’t it, there’s nothing comfortable or normal about sleeping rough, and nobody should have to sleep on the streets. We hope the Big Sleep Out will help to raise awareness and much needed funds to support the Key Charity.”

Jayne Allison from the Key Charity said: “Thank you so much to Nina and Beth for volunteering to leave their comfort zones and join us for the Big Sleep Out. They already do so much for Key and we are thrilled with their offer to help raise money for us as well.”

Nina and trainee Beth have been working with the Key Charity’s two domestic violence refuges in Leyland and Chorley, offering support to people who have fled their home.  The firm provides the refuges with a pro-bono initial service and will apply for Legal Aid on behalf of victims to help cover any ongoing legal costs.

Nina said: “When someone arrives at the refuge we’ll go and meet them, listen to their story, and see how we can help. Usually we’ll immediately apply for a non-molestation order to ensure the partner can no longer approach them and, because there are often also children involved, we’ll also take care of any Children Act orders and care proceedings. 

“It’s important to get legal protections in place as early as possible and working with the Key Charity allows us to provide that for victims within hours of their arrival at a refuge. We’ll continue to work with victims throughout their legal journey, right though until they are able to move into their new homes and can start their new life without fear.”  While Nina and Beth cover the refuges in Leyland and Chorley, Vincents’ family team colleagues Fahrat Unnisa and Erica Fielding work with domestic violence charities in Preston and East Lancashire, supporting victims using refuges in those areas. The firm is also keen to work with charities in north Lancashire and across the Fylde Coast via offices in those areas.

The Vincents team has a wealth of expertise in domestic violence and children law mattersand is one of the county’s leading law firms in the field. Prior to joining Vincents Nina was head of legal services at Cumbria County Council while Fahrat and child care department head Val Shaw, who is supported by senior paralegal Martin Stuart, are two of only 11 lawyers in Preston to hold Children Law accreditation.
Pictured: Nina Ellement and Beth Laws from Vincents Solicitors volunteer with the Link
Charity in Lancashire