Jim Lamb was educated at Otago University and gained an honours degree in Philosophy. His first training and experience in Community work was as a Youth Community Worker in the Merseyside area of the United Kingdom. After returning from the United Kingdom he worked at a variety of positions gradually specialising in the area of Industrial Relations and workers issues.
In 1989 he became a member of the Christchurch Unemployed Rights Collective and has worked in beneficiary organisations since that time. He has very wide involvement and links within the Christchurch Community, particularly in the low income area.
Since 1992 he has been employed as co-ordinator of the Christchurch Peoples Resource Centre. This is a beneficiary driven support group for people on benefits and low incomes. The driving principle of the organisation is that the most effective solutions to problems are those coming from, and implemented by the group affected by the problem. He has developed processes by which low income groups can research, assess and find solutions to their issues. His main work in the last two years has been in developing a beneficiary run advocacy service concentrating on the areas of benefit entitlement.
This year his work has included bringing together a group consisting of community workers and people on low incomes to examine unmet needs in the area of access to credit and banking services. This group is now in the process of setting up a cooperative that will address these needs.
He is currently active in a wide range of community groups and projects.