The South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society (SCEFS) has partnered with the Legal Services Society of B.C. (LSS) to offer assistance with government forms, WCB questions, immigration issues, legal aid applications, and criminal and family law.
An LSS worker will be at the SCEFS office on the second Friday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. Although the LSS has assisting lower income families and individuals as a priority, the service is open to all.
“We’ve been working on getting this service in place for several months,” says SCEFS executive director Yoriko Susanj. “We see a need for this service in our office, but have always had to refer people out. A lot of our clients don’t have the means to get to Kamloops, especially if they live in Cache Creek. We asked what we could do to bring the service here. It’s easier for Cache Creek residents to get to Ashcroft than Kamloops.”
Susanj reports that the first session was fully booked, and that the office is now taking bookings for the next session on August 12. “The E. Fry office makes the appointments, and then the client discusses their case with the legal worker. They’re not seeing a lawyer.” She adds that the LSS worker who comes into the Ashcroft office has much experience with Aboriginal legal aid, for both on and off reserve case files.
To book an appointment with the LSS worker, call the Elizabeth Fry office (located at 601 Bancroft Street) at (250) 453-9656.
In other SCEFS news, Susanj reports that the People’s Produce garden behind the office is coming along. Koppers donated untreated railway ties for the large, U-shaped planter, and Noel Talarico and his crew built the bed. “As soon as they were finished and the soil was in, people said ‘Do you need plants?’” says Susanj. “They were all donated.”
Thanks to enthusiastic volunteers, the garden is already growing. Photo by Barbara Roden
There are more beds to come, and Susanj hopes they can be completed this year. However, she says they just wanted to get the first planter and some plants in for this first season. The garden is tended by volunteers, and when the produce ripens it is available for anyone who needs it.
“We have a saying,” says Susanj. “‘Help us water, help us weed; help yourself to what you need.’”