In 2018 13,000 people walked 10k and raised a record breaking £830,000 for supporting legal advice charities in London and the South East.
Last night, Stowe Family Law’s Graham Coy and Alice Wightman attended the formal launch reception for the London Legal Walk 2019 at the Royal Courts of Justice. Sue James of the Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre and Pamela Fitzpatrick of Harrow Law Centre spoke of the crucial nature of these funds in maintaining the law centres and gave several inspiring case studies demonstrating the significant impact of pro bono legal advice for individuals who are unable to fund a route to access to justice. Finally, Lord Burnett of Maldon, Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales and President of the London Legal Support Trust gave an excellent speech reiterating the importance of fundraising events such as the London Legal Walk and expressed the Trust’s hope of raising £1,000,000 through 2019’s walk.
In 2013, Ministry of Justice statistics confirmed there were 870 not-for-profit legal aid providers. By 2014, this had fallen by 90% to just 95. The impact of local Government spending cuts together with legal aid cuts has resulted in there being little funding available for many issues significantly affecting people’s lives such as conditions at work, homelessness, immigration issues and employment disputes.
The funds raised by the walk support charities that provide or host free legal services to numerous charities. Legal advice services within the community are vital as they assist vulnerable individuals and families to be treated fairly since up to two-thirds of the population are uninformed as to where to seek legal services when in need. Receiving sound advice early on can save £10 for every £1 invested and ensure people remain in work, education and keep families together in their homes.
The walk will take place on Monday 17th June 2019. While Stowe Family Law is unable to offer Legal Aid, we will be gathering a team to walk one of the two routes (Parks or River) to support those in need of legal assistance. There is no entry fee but if every registered walker aims to raise £75, we could raise £1,000,000 to support access to justice in the community.
For anyone interested in supporting the event or if you would like to take part, visit the London Legal Support Trust website.
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Author: Alice Wightman