Community Justice Fund Grants

The Community Justice Fund is is a joint initiative between Access to Justice Foundation and five other social welfare funders, supported by The National Lottery and the Ministry of Justice. The National Lottery Community Fund has committed £5 million to the fund, which will be used to provide vital funding to not-for-profit organisations, providing specialist legal advice, that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 £11,640,851 in grants to 177 specialist legal advice charities across the UK.

Grants of between £10,000 – £250,000 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.

cpag.org.uk/ 

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.

dls.org.uk

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.

bht.org.uk

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.

sheltercymru.org.uk

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.

marywardlegal.org.uk

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.

justrightscotland.org.uk

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.

justforkidslaw.org

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.

ncls.co.uk

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.

airecentre.org

IPSEA

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.

ipsea.org.uk

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.

legaladvicecentre.london

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.

harcuk.org

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.

youthlegal.org.uk

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.

emlc.org.uk

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.

riverside-advice.co.uk

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.

communitylawservice.org.uk

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.

citizensadvicegateshead.org.uk

Release

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.

release.org.uk

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.

ghr.co.uk

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.

centreforwomensjustice.org.uk

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.

cals.uk.net

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.

newforestdis.org.uk

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.

fusionhousing.org.uk

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.

thefru.org.uk

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.

gmiau.org

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.   

workingfamilies.org.uk

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.

cardinalhumecentre.org.uk

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.

sarc.org.uk

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.

disabilitylambeth.org.uk

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.

asaproject.org.uk

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.

barnetcab.org.uk

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.

advice4renters.org.uk

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.

cabdevon.org.uk

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.

middlesbroughcab.org.uk

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.

adviceoxford.org.uk

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.

childrenslegalcentre.com

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.

housingrights.org.uk

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. 

clanchildlaw.org

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.

twan.org.uk

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.

hereforgoodlaw.org

settled.org.uk

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.

asylumjustice.org.uk

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.

northantsrec.org

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.

bdcab.org.uk

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.

northlancashirecab.org.uk

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.

senac.co.uk

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.

atleu.org.uk

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.

consonant.org.uk

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.

ealinglawcentre.org.uk

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.

hflaw.org.uk 

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.

springfieldlawcentre.org.uk

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.

centralenglandlc.org.uk

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.

kcalc.org.uk

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.  

citizensadvice.org.uk/local/bradford-airedale/

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.

ch1889.org

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.

islingtonlaw.org.uk

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.

citizensadvicesheffield.org.uk

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.

lawcentreni.org.uk

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.

childrenslawcentre.org.uk

Sheffield Citizens Advice and Law Centre Ltd

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: Sheffied

Citizens Advice Sheffield is Sheffield’s leading provider of advice services and advocacy services. They help about 25,000 people a year. Their services are confidential, independent, impartial and free. A Community Justice Fund grant will ensure that CAB Sheffield are in the best position to deal with the sudden and what they believe will be dramatic increase in demand for advice and casework, particularly in respect of housing and housing possession including mortgage possession. The grant will cover the costs of moving to home working for the legal services team, as well as enhancing and maintaining capacity within the team.

Bridport and District Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £16,567

Location: Bridport

Bridport and District Citizens Advice Bureau  provide specialist welfare benefits advice and representation at first tier and upper tier tribunals on the full range of benefit issues and is part of the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales. A flexible grant will help Bridport and District Citizens Advice Bureau with the costs of continuing to operate a specialist benefits post, as well as cover the costs incurred by the new ways of working in response to Covid-19, such as additional IT hardware, PPE, mobile phones and phone contracts which has increased pressures on their budget.

Citizens Advice Halton

Grant awarded: £21,016

Location: Halton

Citizens Advice Halton is a registered a charity, operating since 1947, providing independent & impartial information, advice & advocacy. We have a successful track record of providing specialist level casework in Housing, Debt, Benefits and Employment. The Community Justice Fund grant will enable CAB Halton to resume their much needed employment law advice service, especially as the furlough scheme winds down. The employment law advice service would strengthen and complement their existing advice services and also increase the chances of engaging with clients who, although are entitled to employment advice, support and ultimately redress, may not otherwise approach CAB Halton for other types of advice.

Citizens Advice Halton

Grant awarded: £38,941

Location: Watford

Watford Citizens Advice Bureau provides specialist advice and casework in welfare benefits. Last year, Watford CAB dealt with 281 enquiries relating to welfare benefit appeals, most of which concerned disability benefits –  a complex and time-consuming area of work which is undertaken by highly trained and experienced volunteer advisers, supported by paid supervisors. Watford CAB are expecting a surge of demand for casework once the government starts to ease the lockdown measures and reduce government support. The funding from the Community Justice Fund will enable them to recruit a paid welfare benefits caseworker to mitigate the loss of volunteer capacity and meet the surge in demand during the post lockdown period. This additional caseworker capacity will enable them to help an additional 350 clients.

Luton Irish Forum

Grant awarded: £25,766

Location: Luton

Luton Irish Forum (LIF) supports the Irish community in Luton to reach their full potential by providing welfare, social, cultural and volunteering opportunities. LIF has delivered specialist social welfare legal advice since 2004. Case work is highly complex as they deal with multiple issues for their client group which has a high representation of BME communities including Irish Travellers, people and mental and physical disability and low literacy levels. The Community Justice Fund Grant will create a safe space for face to face appointments by adapting their offices to ensure vulnerable groups can still be seen, as well as increase capacity to respond to a projected increase in demand of their services.

Peterborough Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: Peterborough

Peterborough Citizens Advice Bureau is a local independent advice charity and a member of Citizens Advice. They are the only housing advice charity based in and supporting people of Peterborough and the Fens. A flexible grant will help the organisation continue to provide an effective and resilient specialist housing advice to prevent homelessness in the city by funding two positions that are currently at risk. The grant will also help them look at innovative ways for clients to make contact and strengthen referral pathways so that people do not fall through the gaps in the system and inadvertently lose their home without all options and remedies being explored and implemented.

Citizens Advice Lincoln & District

Grant awarded: £32,785

Location: Lincoln

Citizens Advice Lincoln & District offers free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information. Their service is for people living and/or working in and around the city of Lincoln. A Community Justice Fund grant will enable CAB Lincoln and District to keep operating, demand for their service has outstripped supply for a considerable time and none more so than now when demand is increasing and is set to increase further. Funding will cover the cost of increased supervision of volunteers, additional resource on the telephone advice line and the additional costs incurred by purchasing technology.

RCJ Advice & Citizens Advice Islington

Grant awarded: £61,300

Location: Islington

RCJ Advice & Citizens Advice Islington is a registered Charity, employing 14 solicitors and have the support of over 60 civil and family law firms. They are based within the Royal Courts of Justice and deliver civil legal advice to unrepresented parties from across England and Wales involved in cases in the County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. Due to a high demand for employment legal advice which they anticipate will increase during COVID-19, RCJ Advice & Citizens Advice will use the grant to hire a housing solicitor to cope with claims such as potential unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claims.

Stockton & District Advice & Information Service (SDAIS)

Grant awarded: £43,866

Location: Stockton

SDAIS established and Chairs the Financial Inclusion Forum in Stockton-on-Tees (called Infinity).The role of this forum is to lead and co-ordinate the work of multiple agencies (statutory, VCSE and private) to support people with financial problems through specialist advice on debt, welfare benefits and related matters. Infinity is currently co-ordinating the delivery of financial support services to people affected by COVID-19, with particular emphasis on support for people who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable and young people. SDAIS expect a significant increase in clients needing specialist legal advice on debt and welfare benefits over the next 12 months, particularly from young people, proportionally more affected by loss of job or reduced income, and extremely vulnerable people. The Community Justice Fund grant will help SDAIS to increase capacity by hiring two trainee legal advisors to help develop their service.

Citizens Advice Allerdale

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: Allerdale

Citizens Advice Allerdale is a registered charity and operates as part of the Citizens Advice Network in England and Wales. The organisation currently has a legal aid contract to provide specialist level Housing and Debt advice.  Current restrictions on new possession cases have significantly decreased demand for CAB Allerdale’s service and so funding from the Legal Aid Agency. Once restrictions are lifted, the effects of lengthier notice periods and extended pre-action protocols are likely to further delay returns to previous levels of demand and therefore funding. The Community Justice Fund grant would ensure the continuation of the service through this temporary period, preparing cases for post lockdown restrictions and supporting those with immediate housing problems.

Citizens Advice Bury & Bolton

Grant awarded: £60,000

Location: Bolton

Citizens Advice Bury & Bolton is a registered charity, based in Bolton, Greater Manchester with a track record in delivering advice at specialist level, including carrying out end-to-end casework for clients, carrying out representation and court work as they hold legal aid contracts in Housing, Immigration (asylum), Housing, Community care and Welfare Benefits. A flexible grant will help CAB Bury and Bolton cover the costs incurred by via the purchase of laptops and other equipment at the start of lockdown, as well as making suitable changes and provisions in order to return back to providing direct face-to-face advice.

Citizens Advice in North and West Kent

Grant awarded: £35,000

Location: Kent

Citizen’s Advice North and West Kent  provide free, confidential and impartial advice and campaign on big issues affecting people’s lives, including delivering specialist legal advice in addition to generalist advice services, across several areas of law. Due to Covid-19, CAB North and West Kent are working to capacity with their existing resources, in the face of high demand for their services. A Community Justice Fund Grant will allow them to increase provision of specialist legal advice for welfare rights/benefits issues and Increase provision of specialist legal advice for employment issues to face upcoming demand and ensure they continue to meet the needs of vulnerable people in North and West Kent for specialist legal advice.

North Bristol Advice Centre

Grant awarded: £36,750

Location: Bristol

North Bristol Advice Centre (NBAC) is a registered charity delivering services in deprived communities across North Bristol and South Gloucestershire since 1984. A community- based organisation, their core work is providing specialist debt and welfare benefits legal advice, as well as digital inclusion and other services, supporting  more than 2,400 people annually. A flexible grant will help support their Covid-19 plan and provide flexibility and extra resources to transition services, including the continued development of remote working systems and adaptation of the premises to allow staff to safely use the facilities, as well as coping with sudden increase in demand.

Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £49,000

Location: Staffordshire

Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent Citizens Advice Bureau is a charity delivering specialist legal advice in asylum, debt, discrimination, hate crime casework, employment, housing law, immigration and welfare benefits. A flexible grant will help Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent Citizens Advice Bureau adapt to  emerging/increased demand where they have insufficient resource, including Migrants whose immigration and employment cases. The grant will also help with adapting service delivery, particularly for the number of clients who are unable to access advice via telephone or online and need to get face-to-face service.

Citizens Advice Birmingham

Grant awarded: £28,337

Location: Birmingham

Citizens Advice Birmingham offers free confidential, independent and impartial advice on a wide range of issues to anyone living in the Birmingham area, with highly trained, specialist caseworkers delivering legal advice on a range of welfare benefits. A flexible grant from the Community Justice Fund would help with the costs of providing laptops and mobile telephones to enable volunteers who are not set up for home working to continue to offer high quality advice whilst working remotely. The grant will also help them to recruit an experienced  supervisor to support staff and volunteers and ensure they are looked after and able to offer high quality advice and service to clients.

Barnsley and District Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £48,421

Location: Barnsley

Citizens Advice Barnsley is a registered charity with 56 years experience,  providing advice, information & signposting to support local people. The majority of the enquiries they receive relate to debt/financial capability, welfare benefits, housing and employment. This grant would allow Barnsley and District CAB to adapt existing service to more effectively respond to the changing needs of their community by increasing capacity to take on more specialist welfare benefits casework. Since lockdown they have seen an increase in demand as clients navigate the many changes to the welfare benefits system, therefore funding will help to recruit additional resource in order to offer more support to clients, whilst also supporting the wellbeing of staff by spreading the casework workload and increasing organisational expertise. 

The YOU Trust

Grant awarded: £35,000

Location: Portsmouth

Advice Portsmouth provides free specialist legal advice covering debt, welfare benefits, housing, family, employment, and consumer matters, delivering 13,500 acts of assistance annually. Advice Portsmouth is part of the YOU Trust, which provides support to over 28,000 people every year across West Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight and Somerset. YOU is a member of Advice UK and the National Homelessness Advice Service. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, Advice Portsmouth have had adapt to a method of home-working to ensure they can still meet their clients’ needs. The flexible grant will help cover the IT costs incurred, as well as the purchase of PPE equipment and the changes needed to redesign the advice centre in order to reopen that abide by government guidelines.

Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre

Grant awarded: £30,000

Location: Salford

Salford Unemployed Community Resource Centre supports disadvantaged people in the community of Salford by providing free legal advice and representation in the areas of employment law, welfare rights and debt advice.  The effect of the Covid-19 and the lock down has resulted and will result in further job losses and millions have signed for Universal Credit. Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre has already received many calls and emails from clients who have lost their jobs because their employer is experiencing financial difficulties and they expect this to increase as lockdown is released and furlough is wound down. The Community Justice Fund grant will support the salaries and running costs for their Employment Law, Welfare Rights and Debt advice service, to ensure the Centre can continue to run at a time when it is needed more than ever.

Citizens Advice Stevenage

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: Stevenage

Citizens Advice Stevenage offers free, independent, impartial, confidential, advice for the problems faced by people in Stevenage and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. Citizens Advice Stevenage has an extensive track record in providing and delivering legal advice, most notably within welfare benefits. The flexible grant will allow CA Stevenage prepare to help an expected increase in clients by growing capacity via an already established relationship with the University of Hertfordshire. This will enable students to take up home working roles via telephone and video call support roles and help CA Stevenage keep their doors open and assist more people who need their help in a flexible way.

Luton Rights

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: Luton

Luton Rights is a well-established charity which has been providing SQM quality marked social welfare law advice in welfare, debt, housing, employment & family mediation. The charity currently works in partnership with Citizens Advice Luton, Luton Law Centre to provide a co-ordination advice service across Luton. The flexible grant will enable Luton Rights to provide additional advice capacity over the next few months, as people return to work, face redundancy and other significant changes to life as the current lock down is gradually lifted and they see a significant increase in the number of people in need of their services. The grant will, through increased funds, replace what has been lost from the funding cut, but also enable Luton Rights to increase the capacity in all three areas of law.

Bassetlaw Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: Bassetlaw

Bassetlaw Citizens Advice has delivered legal advice in debt/welfare benefits for over 10 years. Additionally, a dementia casework project contributing to additional insight and solutions for the issues faced by people with mental health issues. These projects deliver advice at specialist level, include end-to-end casework for clients and where applicable, representation at court or tribunal. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Bassetlaw Citizens Advice Bureau to reach an additional 250 local vulnerable clients (over 6months) affected by stress, mental health/disabilities by providing in-depth welfare benefits/money advice through: additional hours for welfare benefit/debt casework specialists, support work for caseworkers, IT equipment purchased for home working/development and the maintenance/transition to their existing service delivery

Nucleus Legal Advice

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: London

Nucleus Legal Advice provides free Benefits, Debt, Housing and Employment Law Advice to help provide access to justice for disadvantaged members of the community through the provision of information, advice, assistance, representation and education in social welfare law. Nucleus Legal Advice are expecting a surge in demand for their services once government support eases, particularly in possession and debt cases. The Community Justice Fund Grant will help to build their virtual office, to support the volunteer base to deliver triage services and to enable their specialist teams to deal effectively with complex case work and representation. Going forward the grant will also help to adapt and remodel their offices to adhere to social distancing guidelines.   

Community Links

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: London

Community Links is a social action charity, rooted in East London, providing support and opportunities to thousands of people every year. They provide specialist social welfare legal advice across welfare benefits, housing, debt to specialist level, and in consumer, employment and advice with casework. The flexible fund will help Community Links to scale and adapt their specialist social welfare legal advice provision, in response to the record increase in demand for their support during the coronavirus outbreak. This will help them to prevent families and individuals on the brink of destitution, homelessness and other hardships from falling further into crisis due to the pandemic.

Citizens Advice Portsmouth

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: Portsmouth

Citizens Advice Portsmouth is a registered charity and a member of the national Citizens Advice organisation. They have a track record of delivering legal advice in debt, asylum, immigration, public and administrative law and welfare benefits. A flexible grant from the Community Justice Fund will enable them to expand their Welfare Benefits legal work and employ additional specialists in Housing law and to add a new specialism of Employment law to help with the spike in demand for their services.

Friends, Families and Travellers

Grant awarded: £45,000

Location: National

Friends, Families and Travellers  is a registered charity working across the UK, providing the only national specialist legal advice service for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers for over twenty years. They work to achieve equality of opportunity and an end to discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers and to protect the nomadic way of life. A flexible grant would help FFT to support the shift to home working, maintaining services and to reach people in new ways and a greater scale. The grant will cover previous, unanticipated costs incurred for equipment needed for home working.

Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Lewisham

Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network has provided free, independent and confidential advice to refugee, asylum seeker and migrant (RASM) communities for over 25 years. They work with thousands of clients from all over London and help them access services needed to integrate and thrive into their local community. The Community Justice Fund grant will enable Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network to: provide hardship funds to their client, offer support to continue operating their Food Distribution Centre, prepare and safely adapt the office to resume face to face contact with clients, and recruit for an additional Immigration and or Housing and Welfare advisers.  

Citizens Advice North Somerset

Grant awarded: £54,022

Location: Somerset

Citizens Advice North Somerset is an independent charity that provides free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues and holds an AQS Standard Certification for advice with casework in the following categories: Debt, Housing, Welfare Benefits, and Telephone Advice Standard.  The Community Justice Fund will allow CA North Somerset to employ an additional full time Welfare Rights specialist caseworker and a part time administrator to support the provision of Welfare Benefit advice. This will allow them to address the increased demand that they know is imminent in light of the increase in demand for benefit advice since lockdown, combined with the increase in Universal Credit claims made within the area during Covid-19. The grant will also cover the costs of adapting to both home working and face to face once lockdown eases.  

Prisoners' Advice Service (PAS)

Grant awarded: £34,438

Location: National

Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS) has been delivering free legal advice and support to adult prisoners throughout England and Wales regarding the application of Prison Law since 1991. They also advise on matters of Family Law, and of Immigration Law to prisoners with issues related to detention or deportation. A flexible grant would enable PAS to enlist the services of a Letters Caseworker to address the growing backlog of prisoner’s letters. PAS is also receiving double the usual number of calls to their Advice Line from prisoners and families worried about the spread of coronavirus across the prison estate. The grant will also help PAS strive to remain effective and sustainable in the face of Covid-19 and further adapt their Letters Clinic service so that they are best able to meet the needs of those prisoners who contact them by letter, or require written advice from our Caseworkers.

Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC)

Grant awarded: £27,264

Location: National

PRCB delivers specialist legal representation to children and young people in England and Wales to secure their rights to British citizenship. They take on complex cases where complexity concerns the legal and evidential barriers that must be overcome in order to secure a young person’s citizenship and the particular needs of the young person having regard to their age, mental and physical health and family circumstances. A CJF grant will secure PRCB’s capacity to work remotely and continue supporting young people to register as British citizens during the current pandemic and litigating the many barriers to registration and confirmation of British citizenship.

Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre

Grant awarded: £38,378

Location: Castlemilk

Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre was founded in 1979 and initially acted for the local community in Castlemilk, and thereafter south east Glasgow, in particular on cases on housing law, benefits, employment and debt. Each year they take on around 2,000 new cases with around 500 where they represent clients at the benefit tribunal, the Sheriff Court, the Employment Tribunal and other forums. A Community Justice Fund will help Castlemilk to alleviate financial pressures, as well as maintaining the computer network and related items, including laptops and printers; design and printing costs for leaflets, most of which will be distributed digitally; and contribute to staff and running costs.

Legal Services Agency

Grant awarded: £74,506

Location: Scotland

Legal Services Agency (LSA) is a Scottish Law Centre and Charity which provides skilled legal advice, assistance and representation to vulnerable people and those who would otherwise find it difficult to get legal advice. LSA concentrates on the rights of people who are disadvantaged through mental illness, dementia, vulnerability resulting from youth or old age, poverty, debt, threatened homelessness, exclusion or any other reason. The flexible grant will allow LSA to adapt their services and respond to increased demands in providing essential employment advice. The grant will facilitate the costs of an employment solicitor and part-time admin as well as strengthened IT infrastructures.

Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £26,003

Location: Ipswich

The Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau is a local, independent charity founded in 1973 as a small drop-in centre that became a registered charity in 1981and a not-for-profit company in 1996. They work to support people with any form of disability, their carers, families and others in related fields, who live in Ipswich and the surrounding area. The organisation is very keen to retain their staff because their qualifications and experience are so crucial to clients’ wellbeing. The Community Justice Fund grant will help contribute to the salaries of the advisors and cover the costs of a solicitor, as well as additional much needed administration costs.

Citizens Advice Cornwall

Grant awarded: £44,850

Location: Cornwall

Citizens Advice Cornwall is an independent charity and a member of the Citizens Advice Service. They offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to individuals on their rights and responsibilities, valuing diversity, promoting equality and challenging discrimination. Without affordable access to legal support, people in Cornwall find it hard to achieve positive outcomes in employment tribunals, welfare benefits appeals, debt related issues and housing disputes. The Community Justice Fund grant will help CAB Cornwall to develop new ways of working to provide specialist support remotely and look to strengthen the team by setting up a Task Force to co-ordinate resources, improve skills and expand to ensure expert advice is available either within the organisation or via closer links to local organisations.

Citizens Advice Medway

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Medway

Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and more. The Community Justice Fund grant will be used to:  recruit more volunteers, increase staff capacity, purchase IT and software for remote working, fund more socially distanced home visits, expand their Local Welfare Provision Scheme for last resort emergencies, such as relationship breakdowns involving domestic violence and produce more easy to read information leaflets ready to take away from numerous venues and outreach locations.

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: Derby

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia is a registered charity working in the UK, specifically within Derby City, South Derbyshire, East Staffordshire and Tamworth. They hold or have past experience in a number of different contracts delivering specialist social welfare legal advice in a range of different areas, including asylum, debt, discrimination, employment, housing, immigration and welfare benefits.  The flexible grant will enable CAB Mid Mercia to upscale very quickly as demand increases significantly as government protection measures end and court action begins to take place again at speed. In preparation for this they will recruit a full-time Welfare Benefits Caseworker from a pool of existing volunteers and staff, who have the foundation in money advice, to deliver services both remotely and digitally, and, once lockdown measures ease, face-to-face.

Denbighshire Citizens Advice

Grant awarded: £40,000

Location: Denbighshire

Denbighshire Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and impartial advice and campaign on big issues affecting people’s lives. The organisation is an independent charity and part of the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales. Denbighshire CAB anticipates demand for employment advice at levels necessitating considerable investment to meet community demand. The Community Justice Fund grant will help them to recruit and employ one full time employment adviser per county.

Citizens Advice Mid-North Yorkshire

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: Yorkshire

A registered charity, Citizens Advice Mid-North Yorkshire provides free, confidential, and impartial legal advice, information, and support across Mid-North Yorkshire. We’re the only local organisation providing free legal advice/support outside the Welfare Rights Unit and support the most vulnerable people in their community. CAB Mid-North Yorkshire has seen unprecedented demand for legal advice/support since the Covid-19 crisis began. Funding will enable the training of staff in Employment, Discrimination, and Housing, all of which are needed to fully respond to the problems created by the pandemic. As a result they will be better resourced to provide legal help/aid to those in need.

Southampton Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £49,596

Location: Southampton

Part of the Citizens Advice network in England and Wales, Southampton Citizens Advice Bureau is regarded as the city’s ‘front door’ for specialist advice in debt, employment, welfare benefits, housing and family relationship matters. The Community Justice Fund grant will help Southampton CAB to: more widely promote their specialist services, enhance and expand their existing tribunal service, and support a move to a ‘mixed ecology’ home/ office volunteer framework ahead of their office move at the end of this year.

Citizens Advice Kingston

Grant awarded: £21,400

Location: Kingston

Since the 1940’s, Citizen Advice Kingston has been making a positive difference to the lives of people in the Royal Borough of Kingston. The organisation has a strong track record of delivering advice at specialist level including carrying out end-to-end casework for clients, carrying out representation in a court or tribunal. The flexible grant will allow CAB Kingston to: share knowledge and expertise within the frontline staff offering welfare benefits advice in their borough – through our network of providers and across the voluntary and statutory sector, further develop and enhance digital inclusion for clients with individual tailored support, and set up mutual support groups for staff as well as providing them with access to Big White Wall which is mental health and wellbeing online support service.

Spitfire Advice and Support Services

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: Birmingham

Spitfire Advice and Support Services provides free, confidential and impartial advice for people living in Birmingham on a wide range of money, benefit, housing or employment issues. The Community Justice Fund grant will assist with capacity issues, which could be seen pre-Covid, but now that there has been a growth in demand for wider support services. The grant will help fund a new case worker which would be able to support an additional 50 clients in Tribunal work, freeing up their Advice Manager to have more resource to support the wider strategic work.

Central and East Northamptonshire Citizens Advice

Grant awarded: £38,900

Location: Northampton

Central and East Northamptonshire Citizens Advice (CENCA) provides legal advice to people in Northampton, Wellingborough & South & East Northamptonshire. In 19/20 they provided legal & generalist advice/information to 12,567 people, of whom 8,570 received detailed legal advice from an employee or highly trained volunteer. They provided social welfare legal advice on 25,389 issues. The Community Justice Fund grant will help to: cover the equipment needed to support legal advisors working from home, the safety measures to reopen offices to provide face-to-face specialist legal advice, and employing a Specialist Case Worker to provide end-to-end case work, including representing people at appeals/in court. These measures will enable CENCA to support a further 1,400 people, including providing end-to-end casework to an additional 170 this financial year

Central and East Northamptonshire Citizens Advice

Grant awarded: £38,900

Location: Northampton

Central and East Northamptonshire Citizens Advice (CENCA) provides legal advice to people in Northampton, Wellingborough & South & East Northamptonshire. In 19/20 they provided legal & generalist advice/information to 12,567 people, of whom 8,570 received detailed legal advice from an employee or highly trained volunteer. They provided social welfare legal advice on 25,389 issues. The Community Justice Fund grant will help to: cover the equipment needed to support legal advisors working from home, the safety measures to reopen offices to provide face-to-face specialist legal advice, and employing a Specialist Case Worker to provide end-to-end case work, including representing people at appeals/in court. These measures will enable CENCA to support a further 1,400 people, including providing end-to-end casework to an additional 170 this financial year.

Advice NI

Grant awarded: £60,000

Location: Northern Ireland

Advice NI has 20+ years experience providing strategic and legal advice, policy development, support and training, including end-to-end casework and representation in tribunals; advising on all court procedures and processes for specialist mortgage/rent arrears, personal and business debt specialist support/advice services (the sole provider of this in NI) , HMRC complex cases and welfare law. A flexible grant would allow Advice NI to: better promote our services and be more effective in addressing legal advice and support needs at this time and in the future, sustain services going forward, support the health and well-being of staff (including providing a safe, reliable working environment) and share best practice and targeting of services with their members.

Citizens Advice Taunton

Grant awarded: £25,000

Location: Taunton

Citizens Advice Taunton delivers professionally indemnified advice regulated by AQS including casework in debt, discrimination, employment, housing, immigration, public and administrative law welfare benefits, and others. In 2019/20 they helped 7,932 clients, facilitating amongst other outcomes income gains to clients totalling nearly £1.9m. The flexible grant will enable CAB Taunton to continue their Domestic Abuse service at a time when it is needed more than ever because of the increased prevalence of abuse from Covid, and the backlog of enquiries from survivors who have not been able to access services whilst they have been in close proximity to their perpetrator. The grant will also assist in adapting the office for the return of face-to-face delivery.

East End Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £50,732

Location: London

East End Citizens advice Bureau is one of the largest frontline legal advice agencies in London, providing social welfare legal advice in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets. They provide specialist end-to-end casework on welfare benefits, debt, employment issues. The number of people contacting East End CAB for advice has more than doubled since the crisis first began. The flexible grant will help the organisation to expand specialist caseworker capacity for welfare benefits and employment cases to meet the huge surge in demand as a result of COVID-19.

Havering Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £74,635

Location: Havering

Havering Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent citizens advice charity that provides information and advice to the community, ranging from welfare benefits, housing, debt, employment, consumer, community care, education, discrimination and relationships and family issues. The flexible grant will enable Havering CAB to recruit four part-time specialist advisers for debt, housing, welfare benefits and increase employment advice and be able to adapt their service and introduce a new managed appointment system to provide end to end casework for those who cannot manage without face to face support or supporting technology to enable them to gain support they need.

Navigate

Grant awarded: £50,000

Location: National

Navigate specialises in accessible advice to people with complex, multiple needs facing isolation & exclusion. Delivering Money, Debt, Welfare Benefits & Education services through comprehensive, specialist-level casework; unique in delivery as one of the only charities providing home visiting services. Increased costs, coupled with increased service demand means that the flexible grant will support Navigate by enabling redirection of funds to the areas where additional costs have been identified including; covering the additional costs of delivery for items such as PPE, staff travel and an increase in the Delivery Manager/Advice Supervisors project time to support the increased demand.

CHAS Bristol (Churches Housing Aid Society)

Grant awarded: £30,000

Location: Bristol

Established in 1965, CHAS Bristol has a track record of providing specialist advice, support, and advocacy for people in housing crisis. The team of highly skilled advisors provide legal advice on housing regulations and policies, homelessness legislation, procedures and local authority duties. A primary challenge for CHAS Bristol is to continue meeting rising demand, as more people fall into financial distress and hardship. A CJF grant would enable CHAS to meet their budget, which included a small increase in advisor capacity/ increase in volunteering. To return to face-to-face appointments in September, they will also need to secure office premises which are fit for purpose, planned in April ’20, currently on hold. The grant will also allow the organisation to dedicate ongoing resource to outreach via crisis pathways such as mutual aid groups, food banks and community volunteers.

Shelter Scotland

Grant awarded: £75,000

Location: Scotland

Shelter Scotland’s Housing Law Service (SHLS) has a wealth of experience delivering housing advice and legal representation across Scotland. SHLS’ aim is to ensure everyone facing homelessness or housing difficulties understands and exercises their legal rights. They are dedicated to improving housing conditions, both through litigation in individual cases and on a strategic level. Shelter Scotland’s latest research shows that 1.7 million renters across the UK expect to lose their jobs over the next three months. This puts hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland at risk of not being able to afford their homes. A flexible grant would allow their legal service to withstand this period of funding uncertainty and enable them to meet the unprecedented demand they are facing, and expect to see, from communities across Scotland in the weeks and months ahead. Flexible funding will also enable them to ensure that we can respond to the home working needs of solicitors.

Equality Action Limited

Grant awarded: £30,785

Location: Loughborough and Leicestershire

Equality Action Limited were set up in 1969 and have just celebrated 50 years of their work. Their mission statement is “Promoting equality and diversity, dignity and respect through inclusion.” As well as campaigning and maintaining a public face in respect of equality and social cohesion, their core work is undertaking casework on all aspects of welfare benefits, citizenship, immigration and access to public services. The flexible grant will enable Equality Action Limited to provide legal advice on matters of welfare benefits, housing immigration to meet the increasing rise, particularly since Covid-19. Currently they are having to prioritise only the most urgent enquiries but would like to help more people overcome their issues, whether it’s losing their job, helping to claim benefits, dealing with debt issues, immigration issues and others. The grant will help to pay for a full time case worker to support this increase in demand and to help those most vulnerable in the community.

Island Advice Centre

Grant awarded: £46,000

Location: Tower Hamlets

Island Advice Centre (IAC) provides open-door drop-in sessions and telephone advice sessions to Tower Hamlets residents with a wide range of advice about entitlement to benefits, ‘better-off’ calculations, reviews, appeals and tribunal hearings. They have been delivering welfare, housing and debt advice since 1998. The Community Justice Fund grant will help IAC have a flexible pot of funding to address issues such as the move to remote working and to prepare for the anticipated surge in demand for all areas of law that they advise on. It will provide sustainability for IAC to manage staff capacity, adapt services to meet demand and continue to lead on strengthening the wider advice network in Tower Hamlets ensuring that those most disadvantaged by Covid-19 are able to access advice.

Maternity Action

Grant awarded: £60,000

Location: National

Maternity Action delivers specialist legal advice on employment, discrimination and welfare benefits to pregnant women and new parents. Their 50+ online information sheets are kept rigorously up to date and are viewed by 1.3 million people each year. Their telephone advice service, the Maternity Rights Advice Line, is delivered by employment solicitors and barrister and advised 1,600 callers from across the UK in 2019. The Community Justice Fund grant will enable them to maintain and potentially expand delivery of telephone advice through the Maternity Rights Advice Line for the next twelve months and help with the need to increase staff hours in order to increase the number of calls answered. Grant funds will also help them deliver their popular webinars on maternity rights and benefits and Covid-19, as well as bring their Migrant Women’s Rights Service adviser back from furlough to deliver virtual outreach to migrant organisations.

North East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau

Grant awarded: £36,500

Location: Suffolk

North East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau (NESCAB) is a registered charity offering quality assured advice, including debt and benefits at specialist level. The service area is North East Suffolk, (Lowestoft, Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Southwold including the rural hinterland), and adjacent areas of southern Norfolk. NESCAB are anticipating that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to increased demand for their specialist advice in social welfare law, particularly in areas such as housing, as restrictions are lifted on possession proceedings and ‘mortgage holidays’ come to an end. A Community Justice Fund grant will allow NESCAB to increase capacity within their specialist team, allowing them to use their time flexibly to meet any fluctuations in demand and overall enabling them to address the impact of Covid-19 and the consequential increase in demand for quality assured advice.