Whittington-based campaign group Fightback4Justice shortlisted for a  National Diversity Award.

Fightback4Justice, which is based in Bury Road, will go up against groups from across the country after being shortlisted for the community organisation award for disability.

The non-profit organisation, which supports disabled people with applications and appeals for a range of welfare benefits and also campaigns for change, received about 200 nominations from people they had helped.

The National Diversity Awards aims to celebrate the achievements of grassroots communities, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work in tackling issues.

The ceremony, which will be held at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday, September 14, will be hosted by Scissor Sisters member Ana Matronic and television presenter Brian Dowling.

124,000 companies from across the UK were nominated for an award, but Fightback4Justice were lucky enough to be among just 124 people and organisations that made the final shortlist.

Michelle Cardno, the group’s founder, said: “I was really shocked and pleased to find out we had been nominated.

“We have been shortlisted in the past, but we were doubly shocked, because even more people have entered it this time around.”

“We are not funded so we are up against some really big charities who are, and have PR departments.

“We are excited to find out whether we have won on the night.”

Fightback4Justice were last shortlisted for a National Diversity Award in 2014.

At the time, they had just three volunteers.

Four years on, they have 20 staff members and volunteers who dealt with about 1,000 appeals last year ­— at a reported success rate of about 88 per cent.

Previously based in Ela Mill, the group moved to their Tottington office back in 2016, and have continued to grow ever since.

They now have more than 45,000 likes on Facebook and have helped people from across the UK.

They also hold monthly drop-in sessions, which are open to the public to attend.

Ms Cardno added: “We have expanded massively. There is a massive demand for our services.

“Our name has been banded about quite a lot and we have helped lots of people. A lot of our clients are in Bury.

“Locally, we have had much more of a presence since moving to the main road.”

The group was initially started as a Facebook page by Ms Cardno, who lives in Bury, with the aim of offering free legal support to disabled people.

Since its inception, the group has won more than 2,000 appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions for people nationwide through advocacy, and helped hundreds more through useful advice notes and a free helpline.

Source –  The Bury Times


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