Community Justice Fund Wave Two Grants
The Community Justice Fund was established to provide urgent and flexible support to specialist social welfare legal advice agencies to ensure they could adapt and continue to provide vital services to people affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
In the Community Justice Fund’s second funding round, grants have been awarded to organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and include Law Centres, local Citizens Advice, independent advice agencies and national charities. 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.
Grants of between £40,000 – £60,000 have been awarded to the following charities:
Advice 4 Renters
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.
Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit
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 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.
Brighton Housing Trust (BHT)
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.
Bristol Law Centre
Bristol Law Centre provides a range of specialist services, including holding Legal Aid contracts to deliver housing, immigration, discrimination, public law, welfare benefits, and mental health. They run weekly employment and immigration helplines in the West and South West regions, along with several other projects in partnership with local organisations.
Bristol Refugee Rights
Bristol Refugee Rights supports people in the asylum process and other migrants with unsettled immigration status and No Recourse to Public Funds. They offer advice on: asylum support entitlements, understanding the Asylum System, explaining letters and helping respond, finding a solicitor or addressing problems with a solicitor, problems with National Asylum Support Service support or accommodation problems with healthcare with National Asylum Support Service support or accommodation, problems with healthcare, education or social services. The CJF grant will allow the service to continue providing support despite the uncertain funding landscape and will ensure that they are able to deal with a 50% increase in demand for their services.
Brixton Advice Centre
Brixton Advice Centre (BAC) is a specialist social welfare law advice service that triages clients to the specialist teams and their pro bono online advice clinic. They provide specialist advice services in Housing, Debt and Welfare Benefits and they also currently hold a Legal Aid contract in Housing and Debt. Their team currently consists of a Litigator to undertake Legal Aid work and carry-out Judicial Review proceedings, a Housing Category Adviser that focusses on casework and a Specialist Welfare Benefits Adviser that progresses cases up to and including tribunal representation. The grant will help with their plans to maintain and expand their advice provision. The funds will be used to give them the resources to be more responsive to client demand, particularly with early intervention and dealing with issues that are not in scope for legal aid. They will also use a portion of the funds to upgrade their IT facilities. They would also like to use the grant to support the Chief Executives plan to introduce a new strategy to review long-term strategic direction of BAC and explore ways for which they can provide representation and support to those facing homelessness.
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.
Canterbury Housing Advice Centre
Canterbury Housing Advice Centre (CHAC) offers free, weekday specialist housing legal advice, assistance, negotiation, advocacy, and court representation service face-to-face to people through drop-ins and appointments as well as by telephone, letter and email since 1991. They are the only organisation providing substantial and free generalist and specialist, legal housing advice to vulnerable people, especially to those with mental health issues who are socially excluded and/or living in poverty. A grant from the Community Justice Fund will enable them to keep doors open and maintain their service while putting them in the best possible position to meet the increased future demand they expect due to Covid-19 and meet the demands of the courts reopening. Their essential specialist housing legal advice service will be even more needed to prevent homelessness, tackle disadvantage and reduce poverty and social exclusion over the next six months.
Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre
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.
Central England Law Centre
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.
Children's Law Centre (Northern Ireland)
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.
Citizens Advice Barking and Dagenham
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 Central and East Northamptonshire
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.
Citizens Advice Lincoln & District
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.
Citizens Advice Mid-North 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.
Sheffield Citizens Advice and Law Centre Ltd
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.
Shepway Citizens Advice
Shepway Citizens Advice Bureau delivers specialist debt service which supports a specialist Debt Caseworker/Authorised Intermediary and provides casework to clients with debt issues. It also delivers specialist Housing services which provides advice, assistance, and casework to clients on a range of housing issues including homelessness, possession actions, eviction, anti-social behaviour, harassment and disrepair actions. The Community Justice Fund grant will enable them to continue to deliver specialist services during the pandemic to clients and other organisations. It also allows them to meet their current and expected shortfall in income and support the continued employment of a caseworker. The grant will also help them to invest further in ICT infrastructure to ensure greater resilience and sustainability in terms of being able to work more effectively both home and officed based and also to expand their Volunteer Training programme.
Community Advice and Law Service
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.
Community Law Advice Network - Clan Childlaw
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.
Community Law Service (Northampton & County)
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.
Cumbria Law Centre
Cumbria Law Centre provides free specialist advice and casework in employment, housing, debt and welfare benefits. They hold Lexcel accreditation and Legal Aid contracts, and provide the housing court duty service in Carlisle, West Cumbria, Kendal and Barrow.
Derbyshire Law Centre
Derbyshire Law Centre has over 30 years’ experience in delivering free legal advice services in social welfare law, providing free legal advice, assistance and representation including advocacy services to enable disadvantaged people to access social justice. They hold Legal Aid contracts in housing and discrimination law and provide one-to-one support for vulnerable clients.
Location: North East
Disability North is a user-led charity who operate in the North East of England and offer specialist legal advice on welfare benefits to disabled people across the region. Established over 10 years ago, the charity launched a Community Care Advice Service in May 2020-the only specialised advice service in the region. In the 3 months since its launch, the service helped over 100 clients and this number is set to increase particularly in light of the COVID pandemic and the issues it raises for those in care homes. The CJF grant will allow Disability North to fund this service for a further 6 months and will ensure that staff are retained and supported in this work.
Dostiyo Asian Women and Girls Organisation
Dostiyo is the only dedicated Asian organisation delivering advice, advocacy and representation relating to welfare benefit appeals in the county. They offer a holistic service including initial advice, information, and end to end casework for clients, including submission of tribunal applications, preparation of statements and representation at tribunal hearings for benefits appeals. Due to the impact of Covid on the most vulnerable in society, as well as the disproportionate impact on BAME communities, the work of Dostiyo has sharply increased alongside the spike in enquiries relating to domestic abuse, universal credit, employment, pensions, pension credit and PIP reviews. A grant from the Community Justice Fund will assist in increasing their capacity to provide and support vulnerable groups both relating to welfare rights/tenancy rights and discrimination associated with the impact of Covid as well as their ‘usual’ advocacy welfare benefits advice and housing enquiries.
Ealing Law Centre
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.
Equality Action Limited
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.
Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC)
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.
Friends, Families and Travellers
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.
Fusion Housing Kirklees Limited
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.
Fylde Coast Advice and Legal Centre
The Fylde Coast Advice and Legal Centre exists to provide social welfare and human rights law services for people who are on low incomes, disadvantaged, oppressed or marginalised groups.
Govan Law Centre
Govan Law Centre (GLC) undertakes expert advice, court and tribunal representation in Scotland and is a member of Glasgow City Council’s Glasgow Advice Partnership (GAP) which part funds its work across the south and east of Glasgow. They specialise in housing, landlord and tenant, homelessness, welfare rights, money advice, social services, consumer and debt and also have an education law unit and do a lot of work with carers and around mental health. The grant will allow the Centre to continue its work despite funding uncertainties caused by the pandemic and will also allow the Centre to increase its capacity.
Great Yarmouth Refugee and Outreach Support
Location: Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth Refugee and Outreach Support (GYROS) is a Level 1 & Level 2 OISC accredited organisation providing multilingual immigration advice and immigration-informed welfare advice and support for migrant communities across Norfolk and Suffolk. They also offer specialist social welfare legal advice and an end to end multilingual and culturally informed service to clients who access our service via a drop-in or appointment only service. They are the only Level 2 OISC advice service offering free advice to migrant communities in the geographical areas in which they work. The CJF grant will enable the service to keep the doors open as well as training more staff to be Level 2 OISC accredited to deal with the increase in demand for their services.
Greenwich Housing Rights
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.
Harlow Advice Centre
Harlow Advice Centre provides end-to-end casework plus tribunal and court representation on welfare benefits, housing and debt issues. It is the only legal aid provider in these subjects in a large geographical area covering large parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and other areas. Harlow Advice Centre employs four specialist level advisers with many decades of experience between them including: a full-time housing solicitor; welfare benefits supervisor; welfare benefits adviser and debt supervisor.
The grant will help the service respond to the changes resulting from Covid-19 and bridge the gap between legal aid income dropping and cases building up again. The grant will allow the Centre to improve IT equipment and fund training as well as additional specialist adviser and administrative support to respond to the inevitable increase in demand.
Hillingdon Law Centre
Hillingdon Law Centre is an independent legal advice charity whose main objectives are to provide quality advice and representation to poor, vulnerable and excluded members of society.
Location: West Midlands
Hope Projects is the leading charity providing legal advice (carried out at OISC level 2 or above and under the supervision of an OISC level 3 advisor) and practical support to homeless and destitute refused asylum seekers in the West Midlands. They work as part of (and chair) a partnership of 12 charities, ranging from large agencies like Red Cross, Refugee Action to small specialists such as Baobab Women’s Project, and Entraide. They deliver three related services: housing, financial support, and legal advice, which is the largest. A grant from the Community Justice Fund would ensure that Hope Projects, the Hope Partnership and the wider sector are able to respond to the crisis they anticipate when Home Office s4 funding made available on public health grounds only is ended.
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.
Justice First – Tees Valley
Location: Stockton on Tees
Justice First – Tees Valley (JFTV) was established 14 years ago to support local people seeking asylum in the UK who have had their initial application rejected. JFTV helps them to launch an appeal against the Home Office decision or make a fresh claim for asylum. While building their case, JFTV offers clients access to financial help, food, clothing, and other necessities. During the pandemic, JFTV’s clients experienced an increase in waiting time for Home Office decisions, the organisation suspended their face-to-face services, and regular fundraising events were cancelled. A flexible grant would be used to employ additional case work resources to meet an increased demand for services and to pay for IT equipment.
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.
Kanlungan Filipino Consortium
Kanlungan Filipino Consortium is a grassroots organisation that works to empower Filipino migrants to fight the injustice they face. They accompany their beneficiaries through a process to understand how British law relates to their basic human rights, such as employment, family life, health, and housing. The grant from the Community Justice Fund will allow Kanlungan to increase core capacity and improve delivery of their essential services and community-driven advice. Funding will enable them to strengthen their self-empowering approach to community-driven legal and welfare advice, working with each beneficiary to support and advise them at each stage of the process; purchase multiuser data storage systems and computers to be more accessible to their community; and systematise the support and training of their volunteers.
Kent Refugee Help
For thirteen years Kent Refugee Help has provided a casework service to foreign national prisoners in Kent and London prisons. They work holistically with clients in prison and the community, providing post release support at a time when former prisoners are particularly vulnerable. They are currently completing a guide for foreign national prisoners challenging deportation on human rights grounds. A grant from the Community Justice Fund will allow them to continue to address their principle aim of helping people facing deportation by providing access to quality legal help and emotional and practical support by funding additional sessional hours which would provide some one-off legal advice for clients. It would also give more resources to campaign with other organisations to end the Hostile Environment Laws and restore legal aid.
Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre
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.
Law Centre NI
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.
Legal Services Agency
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.
Luton Law Centre
Luton Law Centre provides a specialist legal advice service including detailed end to end casework, representation in courts and tribunals, and holds Legal Aid contracts in housing, community care, immigration and asylum.
Manuel Bravo Project
Manuel Bravo Project provides legal advice, end-to-end casework and representation for asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants. They work primarily with asylum seekers who are unable to access Legal Aid for their appeals to the First and Upper Tier Tribunals, providing casework with both in-house OISC Level 3 Caseworkers and pro bono barrister/solicitor team support. A grant from the Community Justice Fund will help in two major ways. 1: it will allow them further time to secure sustainable and long-term funding for the Project as a whole. 2: it will allow them the funds to completely change their method of delivery and ensure its sustainability, as they need to change to tech-based casework and provide training and extra management for both staff and volunteers.
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.
Merseyside Law Centre
Merseyside Law Centre’s services include holding Legal Aid contracts to provide specialist housing advice in Liverpool and surrounding areas, grant funding for legal advice in Liverpool and the provision of welfare and housing advice and representation to high-risk offenders.
Migrant Legal Action
Migrant Legal Action provides specialist advice on immigration and nationality law, including asylum and refugee law to people of all nationalities on a London wide basis. It also provides representation at immigration appeals and judicial review.
Norfolk Community Law Service
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.
North East Law Centre
North East Law Centre delivers specialist advice services that are targeted at groups of the community who have the greatest need including the unemployed and low paid, disabled people, minority communities, and women and children. They work to increase access to justice by removing barriers for vulnerable clients particularly in advice deserts in the North East, with their focus currently in Sunderland, with eight areas of the city in the top 10% most deprived areas in England with limited specialist advice provision.
North Kensington Law Centre
North Kensington Law Centre has a 50-year track record of delivering legal advice to poor, marginalised and socially excluded individuals. They hold Legal Aid contracts in immigration, housing and crime and provide legal advice and representation in employment and welfare benefits.
Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC)
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.
Nottingham Law Centre
Nottingham Law Centre has a long track record for delivering specialist advice targeted at vulnerable clients. They are recognised as experts in benefits for people from abroad, hold a Legal Aid contract in housing, a contract with Money Advice and Pensions service in debt and are currently funded by the Home Office to assist with applications to the EU settlement scheme.
Oasis Cardiff (OC) supports refugees and asylum seekers in the city of Cardiff as they navigate integrating into life in the UK. Oasis Cardiff provide one to one support on a wide range of issues including access to healthcare, education, employment as well as assisting with legal advice regarding asylum claims and immigration. Their integration team works with marginalised clients and with the local community to offer support and general advice. They also have one OISC registered staff member solely dedicated to providing legal advice. The Community Justice Fund will help Oasis Cardiff to cope with increased demand by recruiting two additional staff members.
Paddington Law Centre
The Paddington Law Centre provides free, specialist legal advice, casework and advocacy aimed at improving quality of life and promoting self determination for people living on the margins of society in some of the most deprived wards in West London. Providing a service in the areas of housing, welfare benefits and employment law, they help people vulnerable people increase their income, address homelessness and improve their working conditions.
Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association
Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association (PARCA) works to improve and enrich the lives of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants residing in and around Greater Peterborough. They offer free specialist immigration advice to EU citizens and support and advice to other migrant groups in the local area and are working to expand their services in immigration and asylum. A flexible grant from the Community Justice Fund would increase their capacity to support vulnerable EU citizens with their applications for settled status by increasing the hours of their EUSS advisors. In addition to increasing the staff capacity for providing immigration advice, the grant would cover the cost of telephone interpreters to aid remote appointments with clients.
Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC)
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.
Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL)
Location: London and Essex
Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL) is OISC level 3 and AQS accredited. They have been providing specialist legal advice for seven years and are highly successful at assessing eligibility and obtaining the right status for their clients.
A grant from the Community Justice Fund will mean they can employ a caseworker whose role is to support vulnerable migrants with immigration advice and for them then to attend to cases based on need and urgency. The grant will also help RAMFEL to gather evidence on any trends which will feed into their strategic legal work.
Refugee Support (Devon) Ltd
Refugee Support Devon is an independent charity representing refugees, asylum seekers and other non-EU migrants with complex immigration needs. They have 4 immigration Advisors and provide advice as well as a referral service to the limited number of local Solicitors who carry out immigration work. The CJF funding will allow them to continue to play a coordinating role in the local provision of support for refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants, in particular by acquiring PPE for their staff as well as training new staff and volunteers on new ways of working.
Refugee Women's Association
Refugee Women’s Association (RWA) is a registered charity that has been providing services with and for asylum seekers, refugee and migrant women and their families residing in Greater London. They have provided legal advice on immigration and welfare benefits for 20 years, and generalist advice and advocacy across a range of areas for 27 years, providing one-to-one and group support to 550-600 clients a year. A flexible grant would goes towards increasing capacity to deliver end-to-end casework on immigration, particularly regarding representation to the Home Office for Change of Conditions to remove No Recourse to Public Funds status from clients, as well as changing working conditions to adapt to the impact of COVID-19.
Revive CIO is an independent and grassroot community project which provides free practical support, services and advocacy for refugees and people seeking asylum- regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, age, or belief. Revive provides a range of high-quality services with three friendly drop-in sessions, offering advice, guidance and support on immigration, housing, healthcare and integration programmes/courses. It also offers emergency provisions, specialised casework, advocacy and volunteering opportunities to the refugee and asylum community. The Community Justice Fun grant would support them in reacting to the spike in complex cases due to Covid-19 by helping fund their Immigration OISC Level 3 Advisor for 12 months who coordinates the immigration team that consists of level 2 and level 1 advisors as well as eight volunteers.
Riverside Advice Ltd
Grant awarded: £50,420
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.
Welsh Housing Aid (Shelter Cymru)
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.
Slough Immigration Aid Unit
Slough Immigration Aid Unit is the only local source of free/low-cost advice that provides representation for people with problems caused by immigration, nationality and asylum law and practice. They are regulated by the OISC, with one worker registered at Level 3, one worker and a volunteer regulated at Level 2. A grant from the Community Justice Fund will help by transferring past casework and advice records on a cloud-based information system- preferably the AdvicePro system-, so they can access all the information and keep their records up-to-date while working from home. The funds will also be used to provide training to use it and customising it for the specialist work that they do.
South London Refugee Association
Location: South London
South London Refugee Association (SLRA) has over thirty years’ experience working locally to meet the changing needs or migrant communities and individuals. They provide specialist advice and support to migrants in their local area who are in crisis or at risk, many of whom are destitute and unable to access specialist advice needed from mainstream services. Some of the areas they offer support in are unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people; newly arrived asylum seeking individuals and families; families with no recourse to public funds conditions on their leave to remain; and also refused asylum seekers struggling to survive without formal support. The Community Justice Fund will help cover the costs of legal advice staff to support with the pressures of additional need and demand during COVID-19 pandemic and free up their unrestricted funding to allow them to gather data and evidence to continue to support their clients. It will also help them with the expansion of their emergency services including help them improve provision of their telephone advice service during the pandemic.
South West London Law Centre
Location: South West London
South West London Law Centres covers a fifth of London, with award winning casework teams and pro bono clinics that have a strong reputation for delivering specialist casework and representation. They hold Legal Aid contracts in community care, disability, housing, immigration and asylum, and welfare rights.
Southwark Law Centre
Established in 1976, Southwark Law Centre holds Legal Aid contracts in housing, discrimination, welfare rights, immigration, asylum, and public law. They prioritise cases involving the prevention of homelessness, destitution, discrimination, and breaches of human rights, and are the only Law Centre in the UK that provides legal advice in the area of planning law.
Speakeasy Law Centre
Speakeasy Law Centre delivers specialist social welfare legal advice in the areas of debt, welfare benefits, housing and employment and takes on complex benefits cases with particular expertise in overpayments and right-to-reside cases.
Special Educational Needs Advice Centre (SENAC)
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.
Spitfire Advice and Support Services
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.
Suffolk Law Centre
Suffolk Law Centre provides vital legal advice, casework and representation for people living and working in Suffolk. They hold Legal Aid contracts in housing and discrimination and provide the only discrimination casework service in the region
Vauxhall Community Law and Information Centre
Vauxhall Community Law and Information Centre has a long history of providing high quality advice on legal issues in the Liverpool area, specialising in welfare benefits and debt. The Law Centre is based in a community that falls into the top 1% of disadvantaged areas in the UK, and works to support and empower the local community.
Wanstead and Woodford Migrant Support
Location: Wanstead, Woodford
Birmingham People’s Centre (BPC) was established in 2012 and is a specialist employment rights advice centre, providing advice and information, a full casework service and representation at the employment tribunal. A flexible grant would enable BPC to employ more staff and purchase IT equipment to set up a room for remote tribunal hearings, allowing the organisation to meet the demand for services and develop service delivery to meet changes to working.
Youth Legal & Resource Centre
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.