The press release issued by the Ministry of Justice on 17 November 2023.
More than 33,000 people have been helped to tackle family, debt and housing issues thanks to over £3 million of government investment in legal support.
- 33,000 people helped to tackle family, housing and debt problems
- Over £3 million has helped support more people in need
- Part of £25 million package of funding to boost legal support since 2015
This has saved thousands of people the stress and expense of a court hearing, supporting with a total of 36,000 issues over the last 2 years.
It has offered vital support to people facing issues such as house repossession, managing debt, or seeking help over childcare or custody agreements.
An evaluation report published today (17 November 2023) shows the majority of those seeking support were women and nearly everyone coming to advisors found the right help.
The early legal advice led to increased income for those who were directed to help like the carers’ allowances, and people reporting feelings of greater independence and improved wellbeing.
Justice Minister Lord Bellamy KC said:
This funding ensures people have somewhere to turn to regardless of their financial circumstances and can avoid stressful court battles.
Now research shows that not only can early legal advice help people solve their problems quickly, but can also improve their finances and health.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has provided over £25 million to organisations providing legal support for litigants in person since 2015. The £3.2 million 2 year scheme was launched in 2020 between the MOJ and Access to Justice Foundation.
Clare Carter, CEO of Access to Justice Foundation, said:
We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Ministry of Justice to strive to ensure that people most in need of early legal advice are able to access it.
We know from legal advice charities across England and Wales how crucial this funding has been to help people access income, preserve employment and secure housing. Demand for these services is increasing by up to 50 percent across the sector, so the needs for these funds has never been more acute.
The research is published as the Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk speaks at the Civil Justice Council National Forum about the importance of early intervention for those facing legal issues.
Other activity supported by the government include a partnership between the MOJ and Citizens Advice to deliver the Flourish Wellbeing Hub in the Wirral which provides access to early legal advice alongside healthcare provision to tackle complex or multiple issues in one space.
The Hub opened in November 2022 and will continue to benefit from a total of £145,000 of MOJ investment up to 2025.
Social welfare and legal advice is provided through organisations including Citizens Advice, Involve Northwest and Age UK, who can quickly work together with other partners Mind UK and Grow Change Live to identify solutions and provide the right support before problems worsen.
Reports into supportive initiatives run by the department are published today online here: