Community Justice Fund Launches New £30m Improving Lives Through Advice Grants Programme (England)

Funding for registered charities working in England to provide access to specialist welfare legal advice to the most marginalised communities in England, including people with disabilities, women fleeing abuse and families facing eviction.

The new £30 million, five-year Improving Lives Through Advice (ILTA) funding programmes is provided by the National Lottery Community Fund and delivered by the Access to Justice Foundation with support from the Community Justice Fund.

The programme is designed to support the delivery of free legal advice to marginalised people and communities across England.

There will be two funding rounds:

  • Round one is focused on funding specialist legal advice organisations.
  • Round two will prioritise funding to groups led by and for marginalised communities. These can be organisations delivering advice services, and/or those working closely with advice organisations to improve access for marginalised communities. Further information will be made available in Autumn 2023.

For the first round, registered charities based and working in England can apply for multi-year core costs grants to help achieve the following outcomes:

  • Advice to people from marginalised communities is sustained and improved.
  • More people from marginalised communities are empowered to identify, understand and resolve their legal problems.
  • Organisations have more capacity to engage in influencing, partnerships and fundraising work, which helps them meet the needs of their communities.
  • Organisations are better able to demonstrate the difference they make to people’s lives.

The funding is for organisations and not for projects.

Examples of what can be funded include:

  • Direct costs associated with delivering services – this can include project staff, materials, equipment, room hire, volunteer expenses and project evaluations.
  • Organisational development – this can include business planning, testing new ways of working, staff training and development, developing governance and leadership, tech or IT upgrades/purchases, developing and sharing impact and learning, and increasing capacity to support collaboration and partnership working.
  • Core/fixed costs to support the day-to-day running of the organisation – this can include core salaries, rent, utilities, equipment.

It is anticipated that approximately 75 organisations will be granted funding over two funding rounds.

The amount of the grant will depend on the size of the organisation:

  • Annual income above £250,000
    • grants of up to £100,000 per annum – maximum grant of £500,000 over five years.
  • Annual income between £150,000 – £250,000
    • grants of up to £75,000 per annum – maximum grant of £375,000 over five years.
  • Annual income below £150,000
    • grants of up to £50,000 per annum – maximum grant of £250,000 over five years.

A Q&A Zoom session will be held on 14 August (12pm) to answer about the programme and the application process. Registration is required. A recording of the event will be available on the Community Justice Fund website.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest for Round 1 is 4pm on 15 September 2023.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)