Wave Two funding round

Our ambition is to strengthen universal recognition of the importance of the law and legal rights in creating a fair and equal society. We want the law and legal tools put into the hands of communities so as to safeguard rights and increase their power to secure change.

However, we appreciate that the impact of Covid-19 on the specialist legal advice sector is significant and ongoing. We understand resources are still urgently needed to sustain and strengthen frontline social welfare law advice agencies to enable them to respond to the crisis.

Wave two funding criteria

We have secured £2 million from charitable foundations.

Regrettably, due to the limited funding available at this point, this wave two grants round is by invitation only to organisations that were funded through wave one. We anticipate only being able to make grants to about 25% of these applicants. This is why we are not broadening the field wider at this point.

We are continuously looking for other sources of funding and working with public funders to secure funds in future. If we are successful in fundraising, we may be able to hold a future open grants round late summer, and we very much hope this will be the case.

To maximise the impact of this fund, wave one organisations invited to apply will strictly meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Registered with the Charity Commission, Charity Commission NI, or OSCR and working in the UK;

  • Able to demonstrate track record of delivering legal advice in one or more of the following areas of law: asylum, community care, debt, disability, discrimination, domestic abuse, education, employment, housing, immigration, mental health, public and administrative law and welfare benefits.

  • Providing specialist legal advice services as defined below.

The advice must relate to a legal problem or the resolution of a legal problem. Some examples are as follows:

  • acting for a client in a homelessness or eviction case;
  • appealing a refusal of benefits (after the initial application);
  • dealing with legal threats from creditors;
  • applying for debt relief orders/insolvency;
  • advising on immigration and asylum applications and appeals;
  • advice on employment rights or disputes;
  • challenging decisions of public bodies;
  • challenging cases of discrimination etc.,
  • providing assistance and advocacy in Courts or Tribunals.

It does not include, for instance, initial applications for benefits; help with general money management or debt management programmes (except where they arise as a result from threats from creditors); general advice on rights and obligations (i.e. advice on data access or leave entitlements etc.).

The services must also more often than not include end-to-end casework (where you progress the case for the client). It would not normally include one-off interventions, though we of course accept that the resolution of some legal problems can be achieved through a single one-off intervention.

The provision of advice regulated by OISC (at Levels 2 or 3), the SRA, BSB or CILEX (through an employed solicitor, barrister or Chartered Legal Executive with a current practising certificate), or their Scottish/Northern Ireland equivalent, or delivered via a legal aid contract will automatically be treated as being specialist advice. This does not mean however, that a legal qualification is required for the advice to be considered specialist.

We recognise that generalist advice agencies, private sector legal aid practices, pro bono providers and individuals play important roles in helping people to address their legal problems. However, given the pressures on limited resources, we are not able to support these via this fund.

Applying for funding

As explained above, this is a closed round, and only existing grantees of the Community Justice Fund may apply.

We will assess applications on the following five priorities: equity, diversity and inclusion, financial preparedness, collaboration, geography, and system change. We expect to give approximately 40-60 grants in this round, to be in place by July.

Other funding options

We hope to launch an open round of funding later in the summer, depending on fundraising.

For additional funding opportunities please see the Network for Justice website.