Big Lottery Funding £350,000 boost saves future of free legal service for unlawful discrimination run by Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality

Staff at the Tackling Discrimination in the East (TDE) legal service, run by the Ipswich & Suffolk C

Staff at the Tackling Discrimination in the East (TDE) legal service, run by the Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE). Pic: ISCRE - Credit: Archant

The future of a racial equality group’s free legal service helping unlawful discrimination cases has been secured after being awarded a £350,000 lottery grant.

The Tackling Discrimination in the East (TDE) legal service, run by the Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) since 2013, will continue for another three years after the windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.

TDE provides free legal advice, including support from volunteer lawyers, to people in Suffolk who are experiencing unlawful discrimination and cannot afford legal action.

The service has won 680 cases, earning around £250,000 in compensation in total. Changes have been made to working practices, while six people have been reinstated.

Audrey Ludwig, legal director at ISCRE, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received the funding. We want Suffolk to be a place where justice is there for all and where anyone facing unlawful discrimination is able to access expert advice and support to evaluate the options open to them, regardless of their financial circumstances.

“We have helped people who have been the victims of religious discrimination in employment. One of our clients was told that she would have to work on a Sunday.

“When she informed them that she couldn’t because she ran a Sunday School, we managed to mediate with her employers and her employers changed their decision.

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“We have helped migrant workers who have been victims of pregnancy discrimination, where effectively they lose their work when they tell their employers that they are pregnant. Quite often, they are agency workers on zero hours contracts and the employer just decides they are not going to give them any further hours. We have challenged that and have been successful in getting people usually confidential settlements.”

People who have faced discrimination for disabled, sexual orientation and age reasons have also been helped by the service, based in St Matthews Street, Ipswich.

Mrs Ludwig added: “Clients are usually very, very upset. Quite often, they are people who have been working for many years successfully and then something would have happened, like a new line manager or a change of management which suddenly changes their situation.”

For more information about the service, call 01473 408111.

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