The Community Justice Fund, an initiative between the Access to Justice Foundation and five other leading social welfare funders, has been awarded a £5 million grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
The grant will provide funding to not-for-profit organisations providing specialist legal advice that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be administered via the Community Justice Fund (CJF).
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.
‘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,’ said Chair of the Access to Justice Foundation, Lord Goldsmith QC.
Over £2.3 million in grants has now 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.
The additional £5 million from The National Lottery Community Fund will make a significant difference in the number of grants that can be administered via the CJF, helping a greater number of social welfare organisations across the UK remain effective and sustainable in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
The new grant sits alongside £3.8 million of funds from independent foundations, donors, and the Ministry of Justice. An aligned funding of £3 million from the Ministry of Justice for Law Centres to distributed by the Law Centres Network also sits within the CJF.