Michael Shanks at Equal Lives is NAWRA representative for the East of England.
For a large part of his working life he has worked in an academic environment, but after more than 25 years chose to have a complete change of career.
In 2006 he began work at Citizens Advice as a volunteer and later went in to paid work as a Welfare Rights caseworker run under the auspices of the Legal Services Commission, until this area of work became ‘out of scope’ in February 2013.
Since that time he has continued similar type of work as part of the Information, Advice and Advocacy (IAA) team based at Equal Lives, one of the largest User-Led Organisations in the country acting as representative at tribunal for clients with both physical disabilities and/or mental health conditions.
He also regularly represents his organisation at the DWP PIP Forum and ESA/PIP Assessment Provider Engagement meetings and at various partnership meetings with the local Job Centre.