Like many other funders, we are conscious that Covid-19 is having a significant impact on our grantees. We would like to be as helpful as possible so we want to reassure organisations that:
- We are open to changes in delivering work funded by TLEF. This is always true but we recognise that dealing with current pressures means these changes may have to happen at very short notice without time to talk to us first.
- We can be flexible about the timing for work funded by TLEF, as well as the dates for reporting to us.
- We understand grants may need to be spent differently to cover for staff or volunteer sickness, as well as the costs of delivering services differently.
- We recognise this is a rapidly changing situation and we do not expect grantees to keep us regularly informed of developments, but are keen to listen if there are ways we can help.
- We have worked with other foundations to create the Community Justice Fund to help specialist social welfare legal advice organisations cope with the immediate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lay the foundations for longer-term renewal. Two waves of funding in 2020 and 2021 have supported over 180 organisations. While not currently open for applications, we continue to work with fellow funders and a steering group of service providers to develop this fund into a sustainable initiative for the sector.
- We have led an independent rapid review for the Civil Justice Council of changes to the civil justice system developed in response to Covid-19.
- We are keeping in close contact with sector infrastructure bodies, frontline organisations and stakeholders in government, the judiciary, courts service and other funders to feed this into our responses.
TLEF is a signatory to the London Funders statement on COVID-19 which can be found here.
Our main grants programme remains open as usual and details can be found here.
We know this crisis is putting huge pressure on advice organisations and on the communities they support, but we are inspired by the creative and energetic response from so many. Thank you for all the work you are doing.
From all of us at The Legal Education Foundation