SWLLC Crisis Fund

by Claire Gilbert & Melanie Purdie in Croydon, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th March 2022 we successfully raised £4,470 ( + est. £302.50 Gift Aid ) with 39 supporters in 134 days

Our crisis fund will enable us to give our clients emergency support when they need it most, from paying for food, to fuel costs.

by Claire Gilbert & Melanie Purdie in Croydon, Greater London, United Kingdom

South West London Law Centres' vision is to see a future where people who cannot afford a lawyer:

  • Have equal access to law in order to assert and enforce their rights
  • Are empowered to engage and benefit from everything that a healthy society has to offer
  • Are treated equally and with dignity and respect

Our mission is to: 

  • Fight injustice, inequality and poverty
  • Stand up for marginalised people and help those who would otherwise have no access to law or legal remedies
  • Help people understand their rights and obligations
  • Show people how to assert those rights and to meet those obligations
  • Work within our communities to strengthen cohesion, championing social justice and equality.

We offer free legal advice to those on low incomes in the areas of Housing, Immigration, Employment, Welfare Benefits and Debt.  Our clients are on low incomes, zero hours contracts and/or benefits. 50% are disabled or have long-term ill health, including mental health conditions or are caring for someone who does. 57% of clients come from a BAME background.

We know that for many people crisis existed before Covid-19, and the pandemic has exacerbated their situation, with the cut to universal credit, end of furlough and escalating energy costs only making things worse. We also know that many others are now experiencing crisis for the first time.

In the immediate aftermath of the emergency in Afghanistan, one of our caseworkers found herself supporting an Afghan family who were trapped in Pakistan with no money to meet their basic needs.  We ran a successful emergency appeal to raise £500 to help them buy food and other essentials and this highlighted the need to support our clients in crisis situations.  

As a result we have created our first Crisis Fund, to provide our clients with emergency support when they find themselves in crisis. We know that crisis hits in many different way but these are a few examples of where your money may go:  

£5 can buy an Oyster card to get to an emergency appointment

£10 can pay for phone credit to make a homelessness application

£25 can pay for use of a washing machine when in emergency accommodation

£40 can pay for a child's school uniform

Through this emergency intervention, we aim to help clients stay on their path to finding a long-term solution to their problem.

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