Olympics disruption hits East End’s Toynbee Hall free legal advice

Legal advice for those on the poverty line in London’s East End has become a victim of the Olympics.

Volunteers and lawyers offering pro bono advice are unable to maintain the service at Whitechapel’s Toynbee Hall, organisers revealed this week.

“Unfortunately we have made the difficult decision to close our free Legal Advice centre for the duration of the Olympics,” said a spokesman. “We do not feel able to provide the service that people expect.”

Advice sessions are normally held weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.

But the advice centre is set to reopen immediately after the Games on August 13.

Anyone needing urgent legal advice in the meantime can contact Toynbee’s general advice service Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, organisers have assured. The number is 020-7247 6943, or people can drop in at the reception at 28 Commercial Street.

Meanwhile, contingency plans are in operation to keep other services running at Toynbee Hall during the disruptions caused by the 2012 Games, which include Debt Advice, City Advice, luncheon club for pensioners and outreach services for those in need.