Solicitors and magistrates have praised a London advice service which helped more than 600 people in its first year. Community Advice was set up at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in January last year by the North London Local Justice Area, with support from the Centre for Justice Innovation.

The service, run by coordinator Ross Reis and volunteers (pictured), has helped people in areas such as housing, debt and mental health. It has made 800 referrals into wider community services, so offenders continue to receive support once they leave court. London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association president Greg Foxsmith said the initiative should be rolled out across London and nationally.