Case study: giving voice to families

The Voices for Families project is a collaboration between LawWorks, Together For Short Lives and a number of firms that help children with life-limiting conditions and their families to get legal advice regarding 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, including the example of Samantha.


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 disease that means he requires constant care. The accommodation did not meet his needs, and he was unable to use his wheelchair or frame.

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 Orrick worked for 8 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.