The Access to Justice Foundation: Pro Bono Grants – grants of up to £50K over 2 years to support legal advice organisations across the UK to increase access to justice through pro bono provision (application deadline: Friday 19th July 2024)

For 2024/25, the Access to Justice Foundation’s Pro Bono Grants round has a particular focus on supporting access to justice for disabled people.

Organisations can apply for funding of up to £50,000 over 2 years (i.e. a maximum of £25,000 per year). The deadline for applications is Friday 19th July 2024.

Census 2021 data has revealed that the proportion of disabled people is 17.8% across England and Wales. As the demand for legal advice increases, those living with disabilities remain more disadvantaged when seeking support in their legal matters. Evidence from previous grant programmes has highlighted that an average of 48% of all client issues recorded by the funded organisations comes from clients with disabilities. The Foundation recognises that disabled people face substantial barriers to accessing legal advice and these include navigating complex systems such as welfare benefits, mobility issues, living in a rural location and digital exclusion.

The funding programme aims to:

o Support national pro bono charities.
o Support local legal advice charities to establish, increase and/or sustain their pro bono activity (across areas of social welfare law including areas of family, welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment, immigration, community care, mental health and disability), and
o Support increased access to justice for disabled people (pro bono services can be available to all, but the Foundation will prioritise applications which can demonstrate that the pro bono activity will support people with disabilities).

Funding can be used for:

o The co-ordination of pro bono activity.
o The costs associated with running a pro bono clinic, and
o Developing partnerships with legal firms to establish pro bono services.

Please note that funding is not available for partnership applications or for universities applying for support with their services.

To be eligible for funding, an organisation must meet the following criteria:

o Be registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OCSR) or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.
o Be a national pro bono charity, and
o Be a legal advice charity offering pro bono provision or looking to establish a pro bono service.

Further information can be found on the Access to Justice Foundation website.