Our registered office is based in Tottington Bury Lancashire and people are welcome to visit with prior appointment Monday–Friday. We hold drop in/outreach advice sessions in a number of places monthly in the North West which are open to the public.
Our CIC registration document is below, (we are trading as A4DP as a trading name of Fightback4justice,) and are registered as a non profit Community Interest Company non profit and with asset locked status, meaning even if we had to close, (which we won’t, ) then all computers etc would have to be given to a similar organisation as we cannot benefit from Fightback. We are fully insured both Personal Indemnity, volunteer & staff also have Public Liability Insurance and have up to date Data Protection Registration and Training.
Everything we receive in donations goes back into running Fightback each month and helps expand our reach and services including the donations from our form completion service, without this we would fold. We also have 5 full time staff, 3 part time and 6 volunteers manning the 4 advice lines part time and VIP lines and chat full time and further funding will go towards increasing these hours, and training more advice line volunteers in order to meet demand. This also applies to the VIP service which allows people to be prioritised and gain access to hundreds of useful documents in order to help guide them through the appeal, application process with our helping hand and help themselves.
We are a name you can trust and have been runners up in numerous awards, in 2014 we were runners up for the Disability Group at the prestigious Diversity Awards, in 2013 we won People’s Champion awards, in 2014 we were awarded a grant from the Nationwide for Community Group of the quarter and again we were nominated in 2015. We were also invited and gave oral evidence to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) about systematic violations by our Government to disabled people.
As founder I have an LLB with honors in Law from University of Bolton 2012, and a certificate of Legal Education from Manchester Met University and A.S Law. I have studied for 2 law degrees over the years. I also qualified and was certified as a voluntary Gateway Adviser with CAB in 2013 and worked for them full time as a Law Advisor/Outreach Benefits Advisor in 2012-13, and attended many numerous training sessions from PIP (DWP own course) to The latest Care Act course by solicitors Irwin Mitchell. I have worked for a local solicitor’s running the Welfare Benefits Department and training staff in 2014. Since then, as most of you know, I’ve gained further experience by founding and running Fightback, along with my eldest daughter Chloe who works full time as Office Manager and form filling expert, and friends and colleagues, 2 of which are lawyers another final year law student, 2 medical (NHS) Health Care Professionals, one a children’s nurse of 30 years and an Occupational therapist. All of which we have personally trained in depth to the highest of standards and have regular updates on changes occuring in legislation/trends in assessments and news. We attend regular meetings with ATOS and 3 monthly at the PIP forum in London where the assessors, DWP and other organisations meet to discuss changes and improvement options. Further training courses, internally and externally are ongoing and all of our caseworkers and phone advisors are trained in data protection, safeguarding and benefits to City and Guilds standard, we keep up to date with the latest DWP/ATOS Tribunals on a daily basis mostly in person during our dealings with officials in each area. We also work with local MP’S and charities in the area to help provide free advice sessions. I have been guest speaker at 9 events for various groups in the North West at no charge other than basic travel expenses. We attend regular CPAG training courses and also run our own, training NAS and housing associations along with local authority groups, and advise local MP office and assist.
Experience is our greatest trainer and we have assisted with thousands of successful PIP/ESA claims, Appeals and Advocated in Court, supporting in 900 plus assessments since inception in 2013. We also offer face to face assistance in completing Disability Benefits Forms, Appeals Advocacy, Over payments, and allegations of Benefit Fraud. Want to know more? Then you can find out my full background on linked in or ‘More about us’ on the website. Fightback consists of a wonderful team who all work tirelessly in order to bring you daily help and give you the best chance of successfully claiming disability benefits, appealing a decision or in an assessment. We are qualified in their own right.
Michelle Cardno Llb (Hons)