We’re delighted to announce that the Community Justice Fund has secured a £5 million grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, which will provide vital funding to specialist legal advice organisations adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The £5 million grant from The National Lottery Community Fund will be administered via the Community Justice Fund (CJF), a joint initiative between the Access to Justice Foundation and five other leading social justice funders. The CJF was set up to support specialist social welfare law advice agencies dealing with the immediate impact of the pandemic, as well providing longer term support for the sector’s wider renewal.

So far, £2,315,408 in grants has been distributed to organisations throughout the UK, helping them overcome the challenges faced by the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. These include financial issues, such as cash flow deficits, loss of income, a drop in fundraising opportunities and emergency Spending. Furthermore, the CJF grants will help organisations adapt and maintain their services to reach people in new ways and at greater scale.

Lord Goldsmith QC, Chair of the Access to Justice Foundation, said: “Specialist legal advice organisations are in place across the country to help people who face complex and multiple disadvantages in areas such as debt, disability, discrimination, employment, housing and welfare benefits. In this time of crisis, demand for these essential services is increasing dramatically, so support for the sector is needed now more than ever.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have secured this grant from the National Lottery Community Fund and will continue to administer grants via the Community Justice Fund to provide urgent support to legal advice charities as they face the impacts of the pandemic.”

This partnership is one of five The National Lottery Community Fund is supporting as part of its COVID-19 crisis response.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “These partnerships will extend the reach of National Lottery funding at a time when communities need it most. They are each experts in their field, which is why we’re delighted to be working alongside them. Their local knowledge, dedication and network of contacts will be critical in supporting the distribution of much needed funding at a critical time for communities. We’re grateful to them for working with us so closely and of course to National Lottery players for making this emergency response possible.”

We would like to thank The National Lottery Community Fund and National Lottery players for making this grant possible.

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.

For further information on the Community Justice Fund, to donate, or apply for a grant, visit www.communityjusticefund.org.uk