About Fightback4Justice

Our registered office is based in Tottington Bury Lancashire and people are welcome to visit with prior appointment MondayFriday. 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, (Advocacy For Disabled People CIC however we trade as 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)

Certified by the DWP

Through Disability Confident, DWP are working with employers to ensure that disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. We have been assessed and meet the criteria for a disability confident employers/voluntary organisation.

We are also accepted as member of NAWRA (National Association of Welfare Rights Advisors). NAWRA are a well recognised and respected organisation that oversees, advises and endorses groups such as Fightback4Justice and CAB.

Our Team Members

Meet the Fightback Team!

Michelle Cardno (LLB Hons)

Michelle Cardno (LLB Hons)

FB4J Director – As founder I have an LLB with honors in Law from University of Bolton 2012, and a certificate of Legal Education after completing 2 years of a law degree 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, which I set up after finishing at CAB when legal aids came into force. I have since attended numerous training functions with CPAG and even the assessors and DWP. We are also members of NAMRA (National Association of Welfare Rights) and are certified as a disabled friendly workplace by DWP. I have also been given an unconditional place on the Social Welfare Masters course and am currently enrolling to do the Cilex level 6 in 2018. I have always had an interest in social justice and I am originally a market trader by trade, having built up a family business of 25 years on Bury outdoor Market and other local markets in their heyday running 5 different units and a small village shop, the Bury Market unit is now owned by my eldest daughter. The rest is history!
Cat Gillett (LLB Hons)

Cat Gillett (LLB Hons)

Specialist Welfare Benefits Advocate – Hello, I’m Cat! I studied for my Law Degree with Michelle at Bolton University, during which time I was involved in an accident and had to become involved in disability benefits on a personal level. On completing my degree in 2014 with an upper first class honours, I was then awarded one of only thirteen Law Society scholarships nationwide for the Postgraduate Diploma in Law – also known as the Legal Practice Course (Solicitors Qualifications). I completed this in 2017.  I’m currently writing my Masters in Law on the effects of BREXIT in the disabled workplace. I began working with Fightback 4 Justice in April 2016 and have advocated in hundreds of successful personal independence payment and employment support allowance appeals – both in person and on paper, along with supporting clients in welfare benefits assessments regularly. 
Chloe Harvey - Hamilton

Chloe Harvey – Hamilton

FB4J Managing Director – My name is Chloe Harvey-Hamilton and I am one of the directors here at Fightback, I have been with Fightback since 2013 after taking redundancy from TNT following the birth of my third child (Fightback George), I was with TNT for 4 years working in the Cash Allocation Department, although I enjoyed my job I felt I would be better suited helping people which is why I made the decision to leave my job and help Michelle (also my mum ͅ ) with Fightback. I have since become highly trained in all aspects of PIP, ESA, AA and DLA mainly specialising in the form filling. I have been with Fightback since the start and I have seen us grow from strength to strength at a very fast pace, I am excited to see what the future holds for us as a non profit organisation.
Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

FB4J Admin Supervisor – I joined in 2016 bringing years of administration, clerical and customer services experience with me. I am office based and assist daily with the VIP line, admin and appeals. I am the first gateway for the VIP clients when they call and I am also a trained PIP and review form filler, advocate and MR reviewer. I have a wealth of experience in PIP and ESA and am converse in tribunal procedure and lodging appeals. I am trained in data protection and also manage the files.
Dee Clarke

Dee Clarke

FB4J Admin Supervisor – I have been a volunteer for Fightback from day one when it had just ‘1 Facebook Like’ to what it is today, and the amount of people we have helped is amazing. I have various conditions and disabilities which have given me a wealth of information to be able to help others who are feeling vulnerable and going through extremely stressful times. I can offer advice on numerous conditions ie Fibromyalgia, Spine issues, Mental Health and more. There is something about being able to help others that makes it therapeutic. Our aim is to help others, however, it has also helped me come to terms with my disabilities on our Exciting Adventure! I am experienced in completing PIP/ESA forms, and offer General advice here on Vip, General Chat and Facebook messages. 7 days a week 365 days a year, like other admins you can find me here, so I can say I am Dedicated, Passionate, have Empathy, a good ear and I Love It… :)
Katie Wright

Katie Wright

Law Student – Hello I’m Katie! I’m a final year Law student at the University of Manchester and I have interests in public law, criminal law and medical ethics. My ambition is to practice as a Barrister and to be involved with pro bono projects such as the Manchester Legal Advice Centre.


I work in the office Monday to Thursday and am the person who meets and greets our clients in the office, I welcome visitors with a friendly smile and a nice hot cuppa. I am also trained to do direct lodgement and fill in the sscs1 in the office and over the phone. I am trained on the advicelines and am the VIP reception for phone and clients. I am trained in data protection and also manage the files.
Danni Houlihan

Danni Houlihan

I am Danielle (Danni) I am a volunteer at Fightback and just starting my fightback journey, I originally trained as a nursery nurse but after having my 2 eldest boys I didn’t feel working with children was for me and moved into administration work, I have worked for many years in administration and Human Resources roles, I have personal and professional experience of the benefits system, my husband has a long standing mental health condition and my youngest son has epilepsy and Down syndrome, I also worked for a year as an account developer for universal credit, I first discovered Fightback when I needed some help completing my husbands PIP renewal so when I saw the advert asking for volunteers I couldn’t wait to apply. I enjoy helping people and sharing the knowledge I have gained through personal experiences, I wanted to volunteer to help make a difference to people’s lives and to gain new skills.


I came to Fightback as a volunteer at the beginning of this year, and was taken on as administration in February. I have a background in Health and Social Care previously, working with Adults with Learning Disabilities and also in a secondary school doing pastoral work, across all years. I am part of the administration team- answering and returning calls and dealing with general enquiries, filing documentation and sending information to court. Its great team to work in!
Lucy Whittaker

Lucy Whittaker

My name is Lucy and I am one of the form filling advocates. I joined Fightback4justice in August 2016. Originally working in the debt management and advice sector for several years providing advice and support for those who fell into financial difficulty. I specialise in the completion of PIP, ESA and Child Disability Living Allowance forms and have completed numerous forms for many clients since joining Fightback4justice in 2016. Since joining Fightback I have not only been provided with substantial training and gained knowledge of numerous health conditions and the effect they have on daily living but also been given the privilege to help others whilst working alongside an amazing team and I’m hoping to be able to dedicate more of my time to this fantastic non profit organisation in the very near future.


My name is Syd, and I complete PIP and ESA forms. I have years of experience in Customer Service and helping people in financial difficulty. My passion for helping people has stems from being young. My mum is an immigrant and left her family after being widowed to work in this country. From a young age I would help her speak as she had a language barrier and growing up I watched her being discriminated against so much. This motivates me even now to stop others being discriminated against in any way, and encouraged me learn 7 languages. I am so passionate to help those who are in a position where they need support. I live by the motto ‘you’re never wrong to do the right thing.
Amy Thurock

Amy Thurock

I have 5 years experience working in 2 different defence solicitors. I started off my career working at Khattak Solicitors which is a criminal defence solicitors, my role was a legal secretary moving onto the Crown Court department preparing trial files. I then moved on to work at Tuckers Solicitors where I worked within the Magistrates Court department as a court clerk. This role involved attending court and prisons to prepare clients files for trial. I have recently joined Fightback and have loved every minute of it. I have been completing PIP forms, file reviews and other work within the office.
Jade Mcaleer

Jade Mcaleer

My name is Jade and my working background started in customer service as I have always thrived on being able to help people. After the birth of my first child which was a traumatic experience I relied heavily on various NHS services, this lead me into wanting to do a u turn and change my career. Here I am now 11 years working for the NHS and I have never looked back.I have worked in various settings including hospital and community clinics. I love that every day brings a new challenge and dealing with the general public from all walks of life has taught me to never judge a book by its cover. If I can make just one persons day better either through spending those 10 minutes just listening or arranging specialised care for them then I know I am doing my job properly. Then I was introduced to the Fightback team who are a fantastic people who dedicate their lives to helping those who require support with their claims from start to finish. I complete PIP forms with clients from home around my other job and I thoroughly enjoy helping each and every client I speak with to complete their forms by taking that stress away of them having to stuggle to complete it themselves.

Our Satisfied Members

Hi, I’d like to let you know that I filled in my sons PIP form using your Aspergers and Anxiety well completed forms as examples. As a result he had a home visit a fortnight ago and today had a letter telling us he has been awarded PIP at standard rate. The VIP level made things so much easier for us and prevented many meltdowns. 5 star service ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ thank you!!

VIP Member PIP Claimant

I want to say a huge thank you, for absolutely everything you and your team have done for me.
You stood by my side the whole way and fought my corner for me when I didn’t have the strength or courage.
Thank you to Cat who attended court with me. She drove all this way to support me and she was amazing.. we won!!!
By saying thank you, it just doesn’t seem enough. Your all truly amazing and have hearts of gold.
I recommend Fight4justice and their VIP website and services a million percent.
Thank you Michelle and your amazing team

VIP Member PIP Claimant

hi my name is XXX and i have been a vip level 2 member for many months i had my dla to pip form in january which i filled in myself using all your well completed forms for guidance as i have not seen a specialist since 2009 i was very worried that i only had my gp for evidence i had my f2f at home in august again using your website.
and today i have had the dreaded brown envelope i have been awarded enhanced on both till 2023 i cant thankyou enough for your help i didnt post this on your fb page as i wish to stay anon but if you want to post could you only use my first name could you please send me a link to your amazon page please” many many many thanks x

VIP Member PIP Claimant

They have been wonderful. Nothing is too much trouble. They obviously work very late as I’ve had emails late in the evening. Dedicated to their cause. Highly recommend you get in touch and join if you need help with benefit advice and appeals.

Jonathan Lightfoot ESA Claimant

The day I met Michelle from Fightback, my life changed for the better in so many ways. I found someone who helped me get the help and support I needed and didn’t make me feel like I was a scrounger! Michelle and her team are real life angels, making life so much better for people who can’t/or don’t know, how to do it themselves. I honestly felt alone and hopeless, but now feel like Fightback are right there with me when I need help or support. I can never thank them enough, especially Michelle ❤ xx

Steve Hargreaves UC Claimant

Heaven sent…!! Absolute warriors to the cause. Going above and beyond the call of duty to give hope to people when all seems lost. We all thank God every day for you and your team. A simple thank you just doesn’t seem adequate enough, but THANK YOU so very much for all that you are and all that you do ??❤ xx

Wendy Jones

I have only good things to say about Fightback.

In April 2016 I lost pip.
I was put in touch with Nicky who was brilliant. Initial contact was through Facebook and subscribing to VIP and speaking to Michelle, who was brill too and put me in touch with Nicky who has 30 years experience as a nurse.
I really couldn’t have coped with doing the mandatory reconsideration myself, plus it would have made any difference and I’d have ended up having to appeal, which I wanted to avoid.
To cut a long story short I was awarded my pip again after Nicky and Fightback did all the paperwork and sent all the forms off.

In December 2017 I received the dreaded envelope with esa 50 form.
Again I had Fightback fill in the paperwork and they gave me advice after receiving notice that I would need to attend a work capability assessment.
Thanks to their help, and also a nice assessor ( they do exist lol)
I kept my esa too.

I am eternally greatful to Fightback and I wholeheartedly recommend them.

I have struck up a good rapport with Nicky who has been brilliant.

I have no doubt that all the other staff are the same

David R

Had a phone call from DWP this morning. I sent a MR through yourselves and the letter back was totally contradictory said one thing on report and another on points. Anyway after a few phone calls they rang me this morning to say my enhanced rate mobility was reinstated back to December and apologising for a slip of the pen!!!
Your MR report and files was amazing and I could not have done it without you. Thank you so much. I expect we may be talking again in a couple of years.

Cheryl Jones

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