Who and how we help
Here listed are the organisations we have awarded the Community Justice Fund Grant across the North East, supporting their vital work in providing access to justice for all.
Citizen's Advice Gateshead
Grant Awarded: £86, 104
Citizens Advice Gateshead provides free, impartial, confidential advice and information as a member of the Citizens Advice network of local charities. They support over 12,000 people each year through their advice hub in central Gateshead and an increasing number of drop-in hubs across Gateshead borough, and thousands more through telephone and drop-in services. The grant will help support an increase in staff to cope with an expected surge in demand in areas such as housing and welfare, as well as IT equipment for remote working to keep doors virtually open for clients.
Justice First – Tees Valley
Grant Awarded: £20, 000
Justice First – Tees Valley (JFTV) was established 15 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 grant would be used to employ additional case work resources to meet an increased demand for services and to pay for IT equipment.
Citizen’s Advice Middlesbrough
Grant Awarded: £35, 000
Middlesbrough Citizen’s Advice Bureau provides advice and information to the people of Middlesbrough and surrounding areas. To this end they offer a number of specialist services including debt advice, benefits and employment advice. Covid-19 has seen the demand for their employment advice increase by 100%. The grant will help them increase capacity to deliver specialist employment advice while at the same time putting it on a more sustainable footing.
Grant Awarded: £30, 068
Location: Tyne and Wear
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. This 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.
North East Law Centre
Grant Awarded: £5, 400
Location: North East
The North East Law Centre offers a completely different model of legal service, both free and paid services, to those living and working across the North East. The Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides specialist legal advice in the following areas: family, education, immigration, discrimination and employment. Their team includes highly skilled solicitors, legal advisers, caseworkers, office and project support. With the support of this grant, the Centre can continue to provide access to justice in a time when people need it the most.
Stockton & District Advice & Information Service (SDAIS)
Grant Awarded: £49, 266
SDAIS established and Chairs the Financial Inclusion Forum in Stockton-on-Tees (called Infinity).The role of this forum is to lead and co-ordinate the work of multiple agencies to support people with financial problems through specialist advice on debt, welfare benefits and related matters. Infinity is currently co-ordinating the delivery of financial support services to people affected by COVID-19, with particular emphasis on support for people who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable and young people. SDAIS expect a significant increase in clients needing specialist legal advice on debt and welfare benefits over the next 12 months, particularly from young people, proportionally more affected by loss of job or reduced income, and extremely vulnerable people. This grant will help SDAIS to increase capacity by hiring two trainee legal advisors to enhance their service.