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.

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. 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.
Sue

Sue

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.
Catherine

Catherine

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.
Syd

Syd

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

Google Reviews

I received an esa capability for work form I was not expecting it at all. I have been sick for 15years approx. I completely lost it and panicked. I messaged fight back for help to fill in my form received a message within minutes from Lucy she made arrangements for me to fill in my form over the phone. When I rang at the time agreed Lucy made me feel at ease and helped greatly filling in my form over the phone. When finished she said she would get the form out to me the day after however I received it the next day. I went through it and she had done a fantastic job with it. I was so relieved it was done. Thank you very much Lucy for your help it was much appreciated. I’d highly recommend the services of fight back . I will use your services again xxread more

michelle masters

michelle masters

15:26 31 May 18

Fightback4Justice helped me get from reduced PIP and no Daily Living Expenses to Enhanced on mobility and Enhanced Daily Living Expenses by the Judge who within 5/10 minutes of entering the Tribunal (they had already decided before we entered the room I believe) this was due to Cat at Fightback who had produced the submission forms for their attention! Without Fightback not sure if it would have been overturned, I very much doubt it, however, I am extremely grateful to Fightback and will URGE anyone who is going through a similar situation to ask Fightback for their professional help. They should receive an award for being the most helpful and polite people I have come across and they show they care about you… Well done Fightback4Justice another Assessment maybe for me in about 18 months, so I will be using Fightback4Justice at that time!read more

Catherine Hammett

Catherine Hammett

19:40 16 May 18

I knew the forms were coming and did not know what I was going to do. I had seen Fightback on my Facebook page and thought it would be good to check them out, they seemed to care about disabilities and what people were going through. I thought they were to good to be true, little did I know they were going to change my life. The hard work and dedication to others, when they themselves fight with their own issues, is beyond any expectation anyone could receive. They took the stress away when filling in the forms. It was like having a conversation and finding the form finished while doing this. Please, do not pass this opportunity for help, it will change your life too. I should not forget Cat, who came to my home and advocated for me. Her kindness and empathy I will never forget. Thank you to all who give of their time and change so many lives.read more

Anna Bowen

Anna Bowen

09:48 30 May 18

Absolutely fantastic, professional service! I used the information on the VIP Platform for my daughters Mandatory Reconsideration along with receiving email advice from the VIP team. Today we received the dreaded brown envelope and my daughter has been awarded Enhanced in both categories! So relieved! Fightback helped to ease the burden and stress of fighting for what my daughter was rightfully entitled to. We would highly recommend to anyone dealing with the PIP process.read more

Cath Howe

Cath Howe

18:46 15 Jun 18

A fantastic job done thank you.Your services were very quick, polite and very understanding. I recommend Fightback 100% to help in any disability benefit claim they take the worry and stress out of form filling and helping with mandatory reconsideration and appeals. They all no there stuff and go above and beyond, not one of them take a wage and all donations are plowed back into helping anybody that needs there help.Fightback areSimply the best.read more

Lisa Padley

Lisa Padley

14:44 21 May 18

FANTASTIC team. Professional, welcoming, knowledgeable and advises you accordingly. They went the extra mile for me and my fight is still on going and so I will be putting up another review in due course!! Keep up the good work guys!! L xx

Lauren Munday

Lauren Munday

20:46 11 Jun 18

Quick, professional and expert advice. Had my PIP withdrawn 18 months ago. Fightback4justice supported me in court before a tribunal and my benefit was re-instated, along with back payment. Just had my review forms, booked telephone appointment and then sent forms to the office. Forms completed by knowledgeable staff. All the panic taken care of. Just now have to wait for result. I would always use Fightback4justice and recommend their services to everyone. Superb service with helpful, knowledgeable staffread more

Vivien Gilroy

Vivien Gilroy

15:06 25 Jun 18

Chloe helped me with my ESA form, I got put back into the support group for 18 months this time instead of12 months. Thank you Chloe and all of the team at Fightback. I know I could never have got this without you help. I have been helped in the past by fightback ,as have my family and friends . I can not recommend fightback enough,they are friendly, professional and most helpful. Anyone attempting to fill out these type of forms by themselves please don’t,let Fightback help you the money they charge is very little for all of the help and advise they give to their clients. Once again thank you Fightback.read more

Tina Simpson

Tina Simpson

15:17 28 Jun 18

A big thank you to Jade for helping me to complete my pip forms, transferring from a lifetime award on DLA! She took the time to listen and suggest ways to word the forms in a way that I couldn’t. She was very patient and understanding. Today I received the decision. ….enhanced for daily living and mobility with an ongoing award. Thank you Jade and Fightback. Clare Brooks.read more

Clare Brooks

Clare Brooks

17:53 13 Jul 18

A Huge Thank you to all the team at Fightback. I’ve just been awarded standard for both elements of my PIP award and as it was my first and I started this feeling positively ill at the thought of it all, I am so grateful for the advice and help, with the amount of information of information on your website and the quick replies to my emails and chats, your calm approach is just the best as I have been sitting on the floor in tears surrounded by bits of paper! This will make an amazing difference to me and I know it will to others so I’ll keep up my subscription as much as I can. I truly recommend your service to everyone finding it really hard to cope with all the difficulties that they encounter just trying to get the benefit they deserve.read more

Cathy Barcham

Cathy Barcham

11:40 25 Jul 18

I contacted fight back for justice to help with my mandatory reconsideration for a refused PIP claim.They have been so so helpful in helping me with what I need to complete the MR.I am yet to complete the MR, however whatever happens I will continue to be a VIP member and pay the monthly fee.For £4.99 a month this is a small price to pay for such a worthy cause.This is stressful enough fighting back but with their support it helps relieve some of the pressure & sleepless nights.read more

Devina Robertson

Devina Robertson

16:32 09 Aug 18

I’ve been a VIP supporter for 2 years and have just used the F4J team’s services for the first time. Michelle and the Fightback team are so supportive and knowledgable, just knowing they are are there if you need their advice is a massive relief. Thank you all. I’ll let you know when I hear any news, and will continue to support you. You do an amazing job. Xread more

Joanne Drake

Joanne Drake

21:26 14 Aug 18

Thank you so much for all the help, support and information for our PIP Tribunal. If is was not for your advice and understanding we would have given up months ago. We won! Thank you so much! Excellent service 🙂

Lilith Morningstar

Lilith Morningstar

20:56 18 Aug 18

Got a form to change over from indefinite DLA to PIP in May. I contacted fight back immediately and booked an appointment with Amanda to fill in the form over the phone. It took about an hour. Very professional service. I would have struggled to fill it in myself so their help was very much appreciated. I received a letter yesterday to say I’d been awarded standard daily living and standard mobility. I’m not sure I would have been awarded if fightback hadn’t helped me. Highly recommended.read more

Lynsey March

Lynsey March

13:18 16 Sep 18

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