An Ipswich-based charity which provides free legal advice to residents of the town and across Suffolk is looking for sponsors to raise help it raise much-needed funds as its staff, volunteers and supporters – including the new Mayor of Ipswich – join the third Ipswich Legal Walk on June 27th.
The walk starts at 5pm that day, gathering at the front of Christchurch Mansion, and is 10km long, taking walkers around the parks and streets of Ipswich.
Organised by Eastern Legal Support Trust and Suffolk Law Advice Centre (LAC), which is run by the Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, all funds will go to support projects aimed at providing free basic legal advice for people in Suffolk and Essex who cannot afford the cost of a lawyer – in most cases due to recent cuts to the Legal Aid budget.
According to Ann Barber, SLAC’s legal officer, “cutbacks to the Legal Aid budget have meant that getting even basic legal guidance is beyond the means of many local people.
“Frequently people come to places such as the Suffolk Law Advice Centre, where we provide free advice sessions for specific types of cases.
“The demand on our services has increased. In January 2014 we ran ten advice sessions each month. We now have over 70 local lawyers who volunteer for us and offer 40 sessions each month but we still have waiting lists of 4-8 weeks.
“We need to raise extras funds to reduce these waiting times”.
The legal walkers are also being joined by the new Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Roger Fern who will welcome everyone and set them all off, as well as some members of Skedaddle, a Suffolk folk band whose jaunty music will hopefully encourage them to step up to the challenge.
In walk refreshments are being sponsored by Nick Barber Architects Ltd and end of walk drinks are being sponsored by Birketts Solicitors and Suffolk and North Essex Law Society.
More information can be found at: http://www.elst.org.uk/ipswich-legal-walk.html and anyone wishing to make donations to the SLAC team can do so here – https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/suffolklaciscre