Craig Samuel at City of Edinburgh Council is NAWRA representative for Scotland.
Craig started out his career in Housing and started out studying Housing before specialising in Housing Benefit.
After more than 10 years specialising in Housing Benefit Craig had the desire to represent clients and become involved with social justice and started his welfare rights career in 2000 when he initially worked on a home care campaign in City of Edinburgh council before the campaign became part of the local authority framework and Craig was part of the team to provide training and help set up the new team.
Craig has also represented clients with civil defence in Edinburgh Sheriff court dealing with families facing eviction from private landlords, local authorities and various social landlords.
After providing legal representation for 5 years this led to Craig being asked to become a welfare rights officer in a housing association and setting up this new service which led to managing and helping with community engagement and funding through Scottish legal aid board.
Craig at present provides social security tribunal representation and specialises in PIP tribunals whereby Craig also represents NAWRA at regular stakeholders meetings in Scotland.
NAWRA are also involved with social security reforms in Scotland and through SCOWR (Scottish campaign on welfare reform) membership Craig represents NAWRA and is a regular contributor to submissions and discussions with the social security bill (Scotland).
Whilst being passionate about equality and social justice Craig in his spare time is part of The Spartans FC management team and helps with medical and physiotherapy treatments and budgets. The Spartans are not only a football club but also The Spartans community football academy is a charity in North Edinburgh who provide opportunities to children in North Edinburgh. The Spartans Community Football Academy vision is to change lives for the better in North Edinburgh and similar to NAWRA fighting to eradicate poverty so Craig was very pleased to host our committee meeting at The Spartans community football academy in North Edinburgh when we last visited Scotland for our annual Scottish conference in 2017.
Craig when he has any spare time enjoys spending it with his patient wife and is very keen on cooking and anything Leith as Craig is a very proud Leither and no doubt this is where his interest in social justice started which led to him having a career in welfare rights.