Community Justice Fund Grants

The Community Justice Fund is a joint initiative between Advice UK, Law Centres Network and Citizens Advice and a group of independent funders (the AB Charitable Trust, Access to Justice Foundation, Indigo Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Legal Education Foundation and Therium Access). It is hosted by The Access to Justice Foundation.

The Community Justice Fund was set up to help not-for-profit legal advice organisations be effective and sustainable in the face of responding to COVID-19. The grants awarded will provide flexible support so that organisations can respond to these challenges in ways that they feel best meets their needs but for which they do not currently have the funds.

Since launching in May, the Community Justice Fund has distributed over £3,803,624 in grants to 61 specialist legal advice charities across the UK.

Grants of between £10,000 – £200,000 have been awarded to the following charities:

Child Poverty Action Group

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: National

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) works to prevent and end child poverty – for good. 4.2 million children, nearly one in three, are currently living in poverty, with this figure expected to rise to 5.2 million by 2022. They will use this grant to ensure that the organisation can continue to: support advisers digitally as well as on the phone and email; bring test cases so that families get the support they need from our social security system, and provide staff with equipment needed to work remotely to keep their services running for the advice sector which relies on them to help families and children in poverty. 

Disability Law Service

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: National

Disability Law Service (DLS) provides free legal advice on community care, employment, housing and welfare benefits to disabled people and their carers to ensure that they have access to their rights and justice. The Community Justice Fund grant will help cover a loss of funding and a reduction in legal aid income, ensuring the organisation’s advice staff are able to keep working and cover the increased demand of the charity’s services during this time of crisis.

Brighton Housing Trust (BHT)

Grant awarded: £72,000

Location: Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings 

Brighton Housing Trust BHT is a charity that provides accommodation, support and advice to homeless, insecurely housed and vulnerable people in Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings. Their mission is to empower disadvantaged people to make positive changes in their lives and their community. This funding will ensure BHT can remain open and continue to deliver specialist advice during and after the pandemic. The grant will also secure the financial position of their advice services in the current situation and ensure they are ready to meet an anticipated increase in demand.

Welsh Housing Aid (Shelter Cymru)

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Wales

Shelter Cymru provides independent specialist advice, advocacy and legal representation for anyone with housing problems. Last year, their advisers provided face-to-face help for nearly 16,000 people from all over Wales, helping to prevent homelessness in 86 per cent of cases where it was threatened. The grant will help to mitigate loss of income since 1st April and keep services at full capacity so people in Wales have access to specialist housing advice and legal representation and cope with the expected increase in demand due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Mary Ward Legal Centre

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: London

The Mary Ward Legal Centre provides free, independent advice to people who live and work in London to help them access their legal rights and entitlements. This grant will allow them to maintain access to their specialist advice service to address immediate need and enable them to continue to offer a remote service, alongside preparing to offer safe face-to-face services for more vulnerable clients who are more at risk. The funds will also help them retain expert in-house lawyers and caseworkers to help deal with the expected surge in demand once the full impact of COVID-19 hits.

JustRight Scotland

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: Scotland

JustRight Scotland is Scotland’s legal centre for justice and human rights. They collaborate with partners to reduce inequality and discrimination, and help others use the law as a tool to achieve social justice. The Community Justice Fund grant will help to: replace lost capacity for earned income and unsecured funding as a result of the COVID-19 crisis; increase capacity to deliver remote legal advice; increase their legal outreach surgeries and second-tier advice to frontline professionals; and increase digital information resources to ensure that even in lockdown, people who are vulnerable and at risk of abuse, have safe access to reliable information about their legal rights and pathways to safety and support.

Just For Kids Law

Grant awarded: £30,000

Location: National

Just for Kids Law is a UK charity that works with and for children and young people to hold those with power to account and fight for wider reform by providing legal representation and advice, direct advocacy and support, and campaigning to ensure children and young people in the UK have their legal rights and entitlements respected and promoted, and their voices heard and valued. The funding will enable them to ensure they can continue to support young people and to be flexible in the way they deliver their work. It would ensure that staff have suitable laptops, that IT infrastructure and software applications are appropriate and secure. It will also help to carry out effective home working assessments and provide staff with the necessary furniture and equipment to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Norfolk Community Law Service

Grant awarded: £43,000

Location: Norfolk 

Norfolk Community Law Service works to identify unmet legal need in Norfolk and to work with partner agencies to provide free service to meet that need. A team of committed volunteers aim to provide access to justice and equality and target services at disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, e.g. offenders, migrant workers and people with mental health issues. The grant will be used to cover currently unfunded staff costs; a small staff increase to cope with increased demand; and anticipated increased telephone, IT and other COVID-19 related costs to support new ways of working.

The AIRE Centre

Grant awarded: £35,000

Location: National

The AIRE Centre –Advice on Individual Rights in Europe- is a specialist charity whose mission is to promote awareness of European law rights and assist marginalised individuals and those in vulnerable circumstances to assert those rights. The grant will be used to expand their work advising and representing EEA nationals and their family members impacted by COVID-19, and purchase equipment to deliver workstreams, helping them move to remote working and participate in remote hearings.


Grant awarded: £71,396

Location: National

IPSEA – Independent Provider of Special Education Advice – offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities. The grant will help IPSEA maintain the necessary infrastructure and staff in their legal and volunteer teams to support volunteers to continue providing free and independent telephone advice and Tribunal support to the families of children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Legal Advice Centre (University House)

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: London 

The Legal Advice Centre (University House) is one of the oldest legal advice agencies in London. It provides general legal advice across Tower Hamlets and South Hackney and is contacted by up to 7,000 people each year. The grant will help cover an anticipated drop in legal aid and grant income and help keep the organisation sustainable and maintain current staffing levels as it prepares for an increase in demand for its services.

Hastings Advice and Representation Centre (HARC)

Grant awarded: £57,000

Location: East Sussex

Hastings Advice & Representation Centre (HARC) provides free confidential advice, information and representation to thousands people in a typical year, raising millions in unclaimed benefits for residents in East Sussex. A flexible grant would help maintain current services, responding to increased demand for appeal representations, resulting from incorrect application of the law by decision makers and further respond to challenges ahead brought about by COVID-19. The fund will also help HARC adjust and streamline working processes in order to prepare for what they anticipate to be an even greater need for services as lockdown is eased.

Youth Legal and Resource Centre

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: London

Youth Legal and Resource Centre helps vulnerable, marginalised young people and destitute children and families by providing free specialist legal advice in homelessness and community care law focusing on those with disabilities, care leavers and carers in a youth friendly environment using a holistic approach, improving young people’s life chances and preventing crises. The flexible funding will replace the loss of Legal Aid profit costs income from the drop in legal help aid cases and keep them viable through the downturn in work to enable them to grow and take on the challenges facing them in the future.

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC)

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: Scotland

EMLC is a free independent legal service, which aims to provide access to justice for black and minority ethnic communities by offering bi-lingual and culturally sensitive legal advice, assistance and representation in the following specialised areas: Immigration and Nationality; Asylum, Refugee and Human Rights; Employment and Discrimination. The Community Justice Fund will help EMLC to upgrade its website to a fully interactive service website to assist with the large amount of enquiries it receives, as well as purchase IT equipment and an upgraded cloud phone system to allow a more accessible legal services to clients and gain back some of the lost income through fees and Legal Aid.

Riverside Advice Ltd

Grant awarded: £50,420

Location: Cardiff

Riverside Advice, based in Cardiff, offers free specialist advice in welfare benefits, debt and housing and specialise in helping people experiencing mental health difficulties, those who receive assistance from a support worker or organisation, and people with MS. The grant will help Riverside Advice to increase specialist casework for vulnerable people meeting a surge in demand; retain expert staff whilst some funding is temporarily reduced; and give greater capacity for safety and social distancing in the work premises to prepare for a staged move back to face-to-face casework.

Community Law Service (Northampton & County)

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Northamptonshire

Community Law Service (Northampton & County) is a registered charity providing independent and confidential specialist legal advice, representation, training and consultancy services. The grant will support the charity’s long-term sustainability, enhancing capacity to meet additional demand for their services following COVID-19 and allow them to develop new working practices and service delivery routes to accommodate everyone who needs their help.

Citizen's Advice Gateshead

Grant awarded: £65,000

Location: Gateshead 

Citizens Advice Gateshead provides free, impartial, confidential advice and information as a member of the Citizens Advice network of local charities. They support over 12,000 people each year through their advice hub in central Gateshead and an increasing number of drop-in hubs across Gateshead borough, and thousands more through telephone and drop-in services. The grant will help support an increase in staff to cope with an expected surge in demand in areas such as housing and welfare, as well as IT equipment for remote working to keep doors virtually open for clients.


Grant awarded: £63,975

Location: National

Release is the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, providing free, non-judgmental, specialist advice and information to the public and professionals on issues related to drug use and to drug laws. The grant will help Release to adapt existing services to reach people in new ways–including the use of digital platforms to provide advice and assistance and to increase capacity to meet an inevitable upsurge in demand.

Greenwich Housing Rights

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Greenwich

Greenwich Housing Rights (GHR) is an independent registered charity providing specialist legal advice and assistance to residents of the London Borough of Greenwich and neighbouring Boroughs. The Community Justice Fund grant will ensure that GHR are able to continue providing  their services at a time when they are most needed by helping them adapt to remote home working and replace devices for their staff, who are already seeing an increase in clients desperately in need due to financial pressures caused by the pandemic.

Centre for Women's Justice

Grant awarded: £30,000

Location: National 

The Centre for Women’s Justice is  charity that aims to bring together specialist lawyers, academics and other experts in the field of violence against women, with those working on the frontline as activists, survivors and service providers to bring strategic law challenges and ensure access to justice for victims of male violence. The grant will help the Centre of Women’s Justice to purchase new equipment and software to facilitate continued home working, provide consultancy cover for overstretched staff, increase sustainability and allow them to respond to public need when the time comes.

Community Advice and Law Service

Grant awarded: £65,000

Location: Leicester

The Community Advice and Law Service aims to provide a free, independent, confidential and quality assured advice service to residents of Leicester and Leicestershire. The grant will support their long-term sustainability, enhancing capacity to meet additional demand for services following COVID-19 and allowing them to develop new working practices and service delivery routes to accommodate everyone who needs their help.

New Forest Disability Information Service

Grant awarded: £20,000

Location: New Forest 

New Forest Disability Information Service provides free, impartial, confidential information and advice to those of any age affected by disability. The flexible grant will help sustain the charity over this uncertain time, helping in the recruitment of additional advisors to support an anticipated surge in demand, adapt to new service delivery and cover the loss of income to ensure the they remain open and available to advise and robust for the future.

Fusion Housing Kirklees Limited

Grant awarded: £67,719

Location: West Yorkshire

Fusion Housing are a not for profit charity that works to help individuals in Kirklees who are experiencing housing related problems and need support with learning. A flexible grant will provide stability, allowing them to deploy experienced legal staff during the transition out of COVID-19, help them address a change in service delivery and prepare for an increase in demand for their services.

Free Representation Unit

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: National 

Free Representation Unit (FRU) has been providing representation in social security and employment tribunals since 1972, helping people who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford lawyer. The Community Justice Fund grant will help FRU protect existing staff numbers to keep the doors open, as well as recruit more staff to supervise cases and to adapt their service to COVID-19 at a time when their clients need the most help.

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Manchester 

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) was established over 30 years ago to ensure access to justice for people who are survivors of torture, trafficking and human rights abuse as well as families and others who are separated and affected by immigration controls. They advise and represent people at all stages of the legal immigration and public law process, including the First and Upper tier tribunal, the Administrative Court, and the Court of Appeal. The flexible grant will help the stability of GMIAU throughout this period of uncertainty and risk so that they can continue to provide access to justice through essential services to existing clients and respond to new emerging needs.

Working Families

Grant awarded: £65,000

Location: National

Working Families is the UK’s work-life balance charity, specialising in the employment rights of working parents and carers and their in-work benefits entitlements. Each year Working Families advise around 2,000 parents each year on issues such as: maternity pay, discrimination, flexible working, imposed change, childcare, and emergency/parental leave. COVID-19-related economic instability poses an existential threat to Working Families at a time of unprecedented relevance, demand for our expertise and pressure on their services. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Working Families stay open during COVID-19 at a time when their services are needed more than ever.

Cardinal Hume Centre

Grant awarded: £71,200

Location: London

The Cardinal Hume Centre is a homelessness prevention charity with a specific focus on families facing destitution. The Centre has provided specialist legal advice and representation to people without means to secure their immigration status for 10+ years. The flexible grant will enable them to: maintain their immigration service and enable solicitors to focus on increasing caseloads and providing legal support to over 300 clients; prepare for changes in working practices and improve access in the long-term; and cover remote working and social distancing costs.

Southampton Advice & Representation Centre

Grant awarded: £11,500

Location: Southampton 

Southampton Advice & Representation Centre is a charity and specialists in Welfare benefits and Employment Law representing clients at over 200 Tribunal hearings annually. The Centre helps clients in areas such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit appeals. The pandemic and economic crisis has caused massive uncertainty both in Welfare benefits and Employment Law. The Community Justice Fund grant will help SARC to re-employ an employment Judge to increase services capacity and be at the frontline of the fight against poverty that any recession is likely to exacerbate to meet the ever increasing demand posed by this crisis.

Disability Advice Service Lambeth

Grant awarded: £24,542

Location: London

Disability Advice Service Lambeth (DASL) provides legal advice on welfare benefits issues for Disabled people in Lambeth, particularly for people with mental health problems. The grant from the Community Justice Fund will ensure that staff: have the resources they need, including additional IT equipment, equipment to work safely at home now, and when they return back to the office; enable DASL to increase their volunteer capacity and expand the capacity of the service by taking on additional casework staff to cover the anticipated increased demand for the service from new clients needing support to access the benefits system for the first time.

Asylum Support Appeals Project

Grant awarded: £55,000

Location: National

ASAP is a registered charity with a national remit to provide specialist legal advice and representation in the area of welfare rights for asylum-seekers. The Community Justice Fund grant will help ASAP with the challenges of representing people remotely, which they have found is more time consuming and resource driven than face-to-face work. The grant will also enable ASAP to  increase staffing capacity so that they can represent more people at the asylum support tribunal for the rest of this financial year and prepare for a significant rise in appeals as movement restrictions are relaxed and the Home Office starts to terminate the support of asylum-seekers it accommodated purely due to Covid-19.

Citizen’s Advice Barnet

Grant awarded: £54,000

Location: Barnet

Citizens Advice Barnet was established in 1939 and provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice and guidance to people who live, work or study in the London Borough of Barnet, on their rights and responsibilities. The flexible grant will enable them to continue to meet increased demand for their helpline and support the homeworking team, as well as prepare for an increase in demand once procedures such as employment tribunals, social security tribunals, medical assessments/reassessments for benefits, and appointments to enrol biometric data for immigration applications are no longer on hold.

Advice 4 Renters

Grant awarded: £52,500

Location: London

Advice4Renters (A4R) are the only legal advice agency in London giving priority to those living in private rented homes. A4R has spent over 30 years delivering specialist advice to private renters and others in housing need, providing access to justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Whilst enquiries have dropped since lockdown, A4R are preparing for a huge increase in demand once the current stay on possession applications ends. The grant will enable them to increase the hours of part-time advisers while compensating for the loss of fees since April.

Citizen’s Advice Devon

Grant awarded: £73,196

Location: Devon

Citizens Advice Devon, and the seven local Citizens Advice (LCAs) which make up the consortium, provide specialist legal advice in a number of areas including debt, employment, housing, welfare benefits and family law. A flexible grant would enable them to meet the extra demand for specialist advice that is currently occurring and they expect to continue throughout 2020/21. The grant enable Citizen’s Advice Devon to expand and strengthen new legal advice projects in Teignbridge and Plymouth and increase their internal capacity to provide specialist advice during a period when external provision such as that provided by university law clinics has reduced.

Middlesbrough Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £35,000

Location: Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Citizen’s Advice Bureau provides advice and information to the people of Middlesbrough and surrounding areas. To this end we offer a number of specialist services including debt advice, benefits and employment advice. Covid-19 has seen the demand for their employment advice increase by 100%. The grant will help them increase capacity to deliver specialist employment advice while at the same time putting it on a more sustainable footing.

Oxford Community Work Agency

Grant awarded: £27,435

Location: Oxford

Oxford Community Work Agency Ltd (OCWA) have been providing 2nd tier specialist advice in Welfare Benefits since 1984 and have remained the only organisation to offer this service across Oxfordshire. The grant from the Community Justice Fund will help OCWA prepare for a surge in benefits cases once services restart by recruiting additional staff, or by offering increased hours to existing caseworkers. A flexible grant will also assist them to set up systems in order to be able to provide tribunal representations digitally as HMCTs move more towards digital services.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre

Grant awarded: £63,525

Location: National

The Legal Practice Unit (LPU) at Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC) delivers legal advice and representation in Asylum, Community Care, Disability, Discrimination, Education, Immigration, Public and administrative law. The team specialises in representing children and young people up to the age of 25 and there are very few advice services specialising in this work across the UK. The Community Justice Fund grant will provide flexible funding to cover costs of staffing (including support given to staff), equipment and administration costs over the next 6 months The grant will also help with the increase in service demand and the additional time it is taking for cases to conclude which is causing an income reduction in the medium to short term.

Housing Rights

Grant awarded: £53,000

Location: Northern Ireland

Housing Rights (HR) works to improve lives by tackling homelessness and housing problems in Northern Ireland and has a 56 year proven track record providing strategic and legal housing advice and casework encompassing related debt and welfare benefits. The grant will help HR to continue to operate through making essential adaptations to working arrangements; supporting the health and well- being of staff and thereby maintaining much needed specialist legal housing advice services for people experiencing discrimination and disadvantage in Northern Ireland.

Community Law Advice Network - Clan Childlaw

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: Scotland

Clan Childlaw is a unique legal and advocacy service for children and young people, delivering free, confidential legal advice and representation in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Glasgow. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Clan Childlaw to: recruit more lawyers to ensure they have sufficient capacity; purchase and update equipment to enable remote working for a sustained period; to adapt their services to enable clients and stakeholders to connect in a number of ways and to support the wellbeing of staff.

Tamil Welfare Association (Newham) UK

Grant awarded: £34,000

Location: London

The Tamil Welfare Association (Newham) UK (TWAN) is a community organisation formed in September 1986 as a self-help group by Tamil refugees with the intention of relieving the Tamil migrant community from poverty and to assist the individual refugees in their resettlement in the UK. TWAN services includes: Asylum applications, Immigration, Housing, Welfare and Benefits, Debt, Employment, Mental Health. Since Covid-19 TWAN has seen vastly increased levels of advice enquiries and casework mostly around debt/benefits particularly universal-credit, also many consumer and immigration (closed borders), delivered remotely through phone advice and face-time. The Community Justice Fund grant will give much needed support in extra human resourcing for the organisation to handle this increased level of enquiries.

Here for Good & Settled

Grant awarded: £45,000

Location: National

Here for Good and Settled work in partnership to provide an end-to-end information, advice and casework service in response to the needs of European citizens living in the UK whose rights are under threat as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Since Covid-19 both charities have seen a higher proportion of complex cases. The grant from the Community Justice Fund will help strengthen this partnership and how they share information on their client base at a critical time. Here for Good will use the grant to increase staff capacity. Settled will use the funding to help build up reserves, ensure continuity of service where there are funding shortfalls and reduce uncertainty for its busy staff team.

Asylum Justice

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: Wales

Asylum Justice is the only charitable organisation in Wales, and one of only two operating in the United Kingdom, offering free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers, recognised  refugees and other vulnerable migrants, such as women previously trafficked to the UK or who are victims of domestic violence. Asylum Justice expect to see increased demand from NRPF (no recourse to public funds) clients, acutely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequently by the termination of exceptional support under public health measures. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Asylum Justice meet the increasing demand from this group at risk of destitution by expanding capacity and partnership working, as well as covering the additional costs of remote working.

Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC)

Grant awarded: £27,364

Location: Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC) deliver discrimination advice and representation relating to employment and goods and services cases for people experiencing discrimination related to one or more protected characteristics, so that all Northamptonshire’s diverse communities and citizens can enjoy peace, achieve their full potential and live free from injustice. Due to the impact of Covid on the most vulnerable in society as well as the disproportionate impact on BAME communities, the work of NREC has increased and is likely to continue to do so. The flexible grant will assist NREC in increasing capacity to provide support for vulnerable groups and people who are discriminated against, both relating to issues/discrimination associated with the impact of Covid as well as the organisation’s ‘usual’ discrimination enquiries.

Citizens Advice Barking and Dagenham

Grant awarded: £35,000

Location: Barking & Dagenham 

Citizens Advice Barking & Dagenham provides free, confidential and independent advice on a wide range of topics. Including Welfare Benefits, Debt and Housing. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Citizen’s Advice Barking and Dagenham to run their existing services, bring back staff from furlough, alleviate financial deficits and strengthen strategic planning. The grant will also help avoid the complex reorganisation of generalists already saturated with other Covid-19 advice demands.

Citizens Advice North Lancashire

Grant awarded: £55,750

Location: North Lancashire 

Citizens Advice North Lancashire offers free, confidential, up to date information and advice to those living, working or studying in Morecambe, Lancaster, Heysham and the surrounding area and hold legal aid contracts in housing and debt. This Community Justice Fund grant will allow Citizen’s Advice North Lancashire to offer further channels for advice giving that will include web chat and video calling within partner agencies. They will also use the fund to purchase safeguarding methods so that clients in GP surgeries the food bank and other outreach venues can allow clients to their service online- face to face, safely and confidentially at places they feel safe and comfortable.

Special Educational Needs Advice Centre (SENAC)

Grant awarded: £51,840

Location: Northern Ireland

The Special Educational Needs Advice Centre (SENAC) is a regional charity provide confidential, independent advice and advocacy on behalf of children and young people with disabilities and special educational needs (SEN) attending schools in Northern Ireland up to the age of 19 years. The flexible grant will allow SENAC to raise our capacity to provide specialist advice, advocacy & representation for children with SEN at a time when the number of parents seeking help each week has more than doubled.

Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: National

Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit was established to secure safety and justice for victims of trafficking by using and reforming the law. It is the only UK charity providing dedicated and holistic legal advice to trafficked victims. Due to the pandemic, ATLEU have experienced a significant increase in need from victims for advice and support. The Community Justice Fund grant will enable ATLEU to maintain its team and services, and respond to victims’ needs at this critical time. Without support, ATLEU faces a significant reduction in size which risks reducing ATLEU’s services and impact, and the loss of a team with a unique breadth of knowledge and expertise.

Asylum Aid

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: National

Asylum Aid is a charity with a 35 year track record in delivering specialist advice and end-to-end casework for people seeking asylum and some of the most vulnerable refugees, as well as carrying out representation at court or tribunal. This grant from the Community Justice Fund would enable Asylum Aid to keep their doors open and enable them to maintain and increase the delivery of legal representation to survivors of trafficking, survivors of domestic violence and unaccompanied minors, ensuring that those who often require additional legal support get the help they need to receive the protection they deserve.

Ealing Law Centre

Grant awarded: £72,886

Location: Ealing

Ealing Law Centre (ELC) provides free legal advice and representation for residents of London Borough of Ealing and neighbouring Boroughs. ELC will be based in and managing a Community Library from the end of July. This new space will be a valuable community hub and a beacon for clients who are isolated and/or digitally excluded. The Community Justice Fund grant will help ELC to fund three workers and capital costs of adapting the interview space. The grant will also help maintain ELC’s specialist housing and welfare rights services, add a triage/outreach worker to the team and adapt the space to be safely used by clients.

Hammersmith & Fulham Community Law Centre

Grant awarded: £95,000

Location: Hammersmith & Fulham

Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre is a law centre located in central Hammersmith. The centre provides people in need with legal advice and representation and give support and training to other community groups, helping to overcome the obstacles faced by those most disadvantaged who need access to the legal system. The flexible grant from the Community Justice Fund will assist in adapting services, redeploying staff to meet the new need for non-legal aid housing and immigration advice and develop a new and exciting role. It will also enable the centre to purchase IT to support staff and equipment to keep them safe as they resume court attendance and face to face work. 

Springfield Advice & Law Centre

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: London

Springfield Advice & Law Centre (SALC) is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation, founded in 1982 to provide, at hospitals, day-care centres and other establishments for the care of mental health service users (MHSUs), specialist legal advice, assistance and representation. The grant from the Community Justice Fun will help sustain the organisation beyond lockdown as they continue to deliver services. SALC also anticipate considerable increased demand for services as lockdown eases across all their specialist law areas. Existing staff will struggle to cope with this increased demand, so the grant will help fund a new debt & benefits paralegal to carry out casework and representation in these areas of law, supporting MHSU-clients through the difficult period of recovery.

Central England Law Centre

Grant awarded: £219,649

Location: Birmingham & Coventry

Central England Law Centre is the largest Law Centre in the UK and provides free legal advice and representation for the community in Birmingham and Coventry across housing, welfare benefits, immigration and asylum, health and social care. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Central England Law Centre to: cope with the forecast loss of legal aid income; invest in office premises to ensure that they meet government guidelines for staff and clients when they resume face to face operations; allow additional investment to strengthen current arrangements for remote working and build on work already commenced to respond to changing need during Covid-19.

Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre

Grant awarded: £109,500

Location: Yorkshire and Humber

Kirklees Citizens Advice provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities on a wide range of issues including benefits, debt, employment, housing, relationships, immigration and much more. The Community Justice Fund will help Kirklees Citizens Advice to meet the expected shortfall in Legal Aid funding during this year which will arise as a result of the current crisis. This will allow them to retain their specialist Legal Aid services and staff so that provision is available for the long-term, while also allowing them to provide what services they can during the crisis period. The grant will also be used to cover the costs of setting up an employment casework service at this much needed time.

Citizens Advice Bradford & Airedale and Bradford Law Centre

Grant awarded: £63,200

Location: Bradford

Citizens Advice Bradford & Airedale and Bradford Law Centre is a Law Centre that provides Specialist advice to the community of Bradford Metropolitan District in relation to Debt, Housing, Immigration/Asylum and Welfare Benefits. The grant from the Community Justice Fund will help to fund the LAA Housing Team so they can continue to provide specialist advice to non-legally aid able client’s whist they are unable to take on significant numbers of LAA cases enabling them to retain specialist resource and support clients. The grant will also be used to update to a new telephone system to increase the flexibility of staff, as well as cover the cost of an additional Reception worker to facilitate face-to-face access of the office and support clients in using video conference technology.

Cambridge House and Talbot

Grant awarded: £65,454

Location: London

Founded in 1893, the Cambridge House Law Centre provides free legal advice and representation in the fields of housing, welfare benefits, public law, and discrimination. The Law Centre operates as part of Cambridge House, an anti-poverty charity and community hub in the heart of the London Borough of Southwark, which provides a range of social welfare and crisis prevention services to local people. The Community Justice Fund will allow Cambridge House and Talbot to bring staff out of furlough and back to both full-time and part-time work, , significantly bolstering the capacity of the Law Centre to meet the legal needs of the public in Southwark, as well as acquire PPE and protective screens to allow the safe return of employees to the office.

Islington Law Centre

Grant awarded: £200,000

Location: Islington

Islington Law Centre is a charity registered in the UK with a track record in delivering specialist legal advice in housing, immigration, public law, welfare benefits, debt and education. The Centre holds legal aid contracts in housing, immigration and public law but expects to lose a substantial amount of legal aid income this year due to the effects of the lockdown on their services. A flexible grant will enable them to secure the Law Centre and ensure that they can keep their experienced staff so that they are able to provide the Local Community with a special social welfare legal advice services after Covid-19 and into the future.

Sheffield Citizens Advice and Law Centre Ltd

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: Sheffield

Citizens Advice Sheffield is Sheffield’s leading provider of advice services and advocacy services. They help about 25,000 people a year, offering confidential, independent, impartial & free services. The flexible Community Justice Fund grant will help Citizen’s Advice Sheffield prepare for a potentially sudden and dramatic increase in demand for advice and casework, particularly in respect of housing and housing possession including mortgage possession. The grant will also cover the costs of home working for the legal team including providing laptops and other equipment, as well as enhancing capacity within the team to focus on focus on housing and other priority debt including mortgage possession including representation in county court during this difficult time.

Law Centre NI

Grant awarded: £84,697

Location: Northern Ireland

Law Centre NI (LCNI) is the regional law centre in Northern Ireland providing specialist legal advice and assistance in social welfare law across Northern Ireland directly to the public and to frontline generalist advisers, as a second-tier referral organisation for specialist advice across the network in Northern Ireland. A flexible grant will help keep LCNI sustainable, whilst allowing them to hire an Employment Lawyer and a Community Care Lawyer to assist with the  anticipated demand for community care advice in the re-emergence from Covid-19. The grant will also help fund a project focused on re-building community based connections and scoping opportunities for re-designing services to reflect community needs.

Children's Law Centre (Northern Ireland)

Grant awarded: £157,876

Location: Northern Ireland

Founded in 1997, Children’s Law Centre (CLC) is the leading children’s rights charity in Northern Ireland, the only children’s legal NGO and the only NGO in Northern Ireland undertaking strategic legal cases with/for children. Annually, CLC offer free legal advice dealing with 3000+ children’s legal issues. A flexible grant will allow CLC to: move resources between the needs of home working and facilitating a phased return to office work; purchase or upgrade IT and home working equipment; make physical changes to the office to ensure staff and client safety; retain capacity to continue to deliver services and respond to new demands; as well as cover a loss of donations and earned income as a result of Covid-19.