Pro Bono Story

Pro bono team secures suitable council housing for severely disabled child: Samantha’s story

Samantha's story

After fleeing domestic abuse, Samantha* and her three children were housed by the council in a two-bedroom temporary flat. Samantha’s eldest son suffers from Pompe disease, a deteriorating muscle condition that means he requires constant care. The accommodation did not meet his needs, and he was unable to use his wheelchair or frame there.

In late 2019, he fell and fractured his arm at home. Unable to return to the flat, he required hospice care. Once the hospice could no longer accommodate him, the family were moved to hostel accommodation, which again proved unsuitable, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A team of pro bono lawyers from solicitor’s firm Orrick worked for eight months to house the family in a permanent three-bedroom council house, fully adapted to cater for the needs of Samantha’s son, including the installation of a lift and sufficient space for him to use his wheelchair without risk of injury.

The pro bono work was part of the Voices for Families project, a collaboration between the charity Together For Short Lives, LawWorks and multiple private law firms, to help children with life-limiting conditions and their families get legal advice on housing and community care, and to ensure their rights are protected.

This pro bono collaboration has helped over 100 people since being set up in 2014.

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality

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