Suffolk Law Centre to use £365k cash boost to help people with autism and learning disabilities
The Suffolk Law Centre has received a £365,000 cash boost from the National Lottery - which will be spent on expanding its services for people with autism and learning difficulties.
Working in collaboration with the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE), the Suffolk and North Essex Law Society and charity Law Works, the centre offers people 30 minutes of free legal advice.
The aim of the centre is to eliminate unlawful discrimination on the ground's of an individual's race, sex, disability, age, gender, religion or sexual orientation and to assist them with any legal proceedings.
It has recently been awarded £365,000 over the next three years from the National Lottery Community Fund and will use the money to help people with autism or learning disabilities access legal advise.
Andrey Ludwig, who leads the centre, said they were thrilled to have secured the money.
"It's amazing, she said.
"We are so excited about it because we can provide a really good service to a group who often find it really difficult to bring complaints and access their legal rights. It is about recognising that some people really struggle to get advice, to understand advice and that sometimes we struggle to understand the best methods of advising them.
"As lawyers we can get the legal aspect of it but sometimes not the disability issues."
To accomplish its goal, the law centre is launching its '3C's: Complain + Challenge = Change' campaign to give people with autism or learning disabilities equal opportunity in challenging discrimination.
Mrs Ludwig added: "Our 3C's project will combine our legal expertise, with the lived experience of people with learning disabilities and autism, and the user-led organisations supporting them to overcome the barriers to their using legal services."
ISCRE are set to announce a 'major shift' in the way it delivers its role in the future at its AGM on Tuesday, September 10 at the University of Suffolk.
Phanuel Mutumburi, ISCRE's business and operations director, said launching the law centre was one of its 'greatest achievements'.
He added: "Yet the fact that this very initiative is up and running has meant that we now need to reflect in detail about the role of ISCRE."