New grant making fund: Community Justice Fund
This new fund aims to inject immediate money into specialist legal advice agencies, with grants being as flexible as possible to ensure the money is spent where it is most needed. The fund is likely to be awarding grants in two waves. Wave one is now open.
A group of six grant-giving foundations have joined forces to launch the Community Justice Fund, giving financial and other support to specialist social welfare law advice agencies dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
The fund was created in partnership with leading social justice organisations (Advice UK, Law Centres Network and Citizens Advice), who stressed the need for urgent, decisive action and maximum flexibility in how funding can be used.
The Community Justice Fund is a joint initiative between 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 and opens with over £5m, including contributions from Ministry of Justice. Funds are expected to be distributed quickly, and additional grant funders are expected to join the initiative in coming weeks and months, as the full impact of the pandemic becomes clearer.
Law Centres and legal advice agencies are invited to apply to the fund via a streamlined application process, with the first grants expected to be paid within two weeks. Grant applications can be backdated to 1 April 2020, to cover the urgent, unplanned spending organisations had to make in their initial response to the virus outbreak.
Grants from the new fund are expected to range from £25,000 to £100,000 and will be made to organisations specialising in key areas of social welfare law: immigration and asylum, community care, debt, disability, discrimination, education, employment, housing, immigration, mental health, public and administrative law,