Baking to help provide access to justice for our country’s most vulnerable
We can’t wait to take part in the Great Legal Bake! Anything that gives us a worthy excuse to eat cakes is fine by us, and the fact that it will raise funds for local advice charities helping to protect the most vulnerable people in our community is the cherry on top!
On Friday 14th February 2020 we will be taking part in the Great Legal Bake, selling cakes and cream teas to local friends, colleagues and businesses to help raise much needed funding.
Cuts in Civil Legal Aid and council grants have made it far more difficult to access free legal advice. In 2012-13 there were 870 not for profit legal aid providers in England and Wales. However, following the legal aid cuts in 2013/14 this number reduced to just 95. An enormous fall of 90%.
Free legal advice changes people’s lives. It provides expert help to reduce debt, poverty and homelessness and to combat discrimination and injustice. The money raised can help, among others:
- Survivors of domestic violence.
- Families living in terrible housing conditions
- People who have been unfairly dismissed or who are discriminated against at work
- Elderly people who need support to stay living independently
- People who suffer disability or illness and their carers
- Women and children who have been trafficked to the UK to become domestic or sex slaves
As well as ensuring access to justice for individuals, the funding can enable legal professionals to obtain essential expert opinion in cases where assessments are required of a person’s needs, mental and/or general health, presentation, safety, vulnerability, and can even mean the difference between life and death. Experts can range from psychiatrists to paediatrics to independent social workers to psychologists to name but a few. Many strands of a case may need to be investigated and brought together to ensure the best and safest outcome for a child, family and/or individual(s). This is extremely costly, and in most cases, vulnerable individuals would not have access to funds for these necessary processes.
There is a network of seven Legal Support Trusts across England and Wales working with the Access to Justice Foundation to support pro bono and advice agencies, ensuring funds can be distributed where needed most. The London Legal Support Trust supports London and the South East so lets bake and support our communities! Find out more information on their website: