Justice Together – a new initiative aiming to create a fairer and more accessible UK immigration system – has opened its first grant round for applications to become advice and influencing partners. The initiative was launched earlier this year, with £9m initial funding from a collaboration of 11 independent funders, and is expected to continue its ambitious programme of work for a decade. Justice Together will award grants to fund free or low-cost specialist
immigration advice and representation (OISC level two and above); and for influencing work at a national and local level. Influencing grants can cover a wide range of activities including strategic litigation, research, public affairs, alliance building between advice providers and grassroots groups, community lawyering and community organising.
Laura Redman, Acting head of Justice Together, says: ‘Justice Together will ensure people who use the immigration system can access justice fairly and equally, so that they can get on with their lives. Through grant-making and collaboration, the initiative will connect lived experience, frontline advice and influencing strategies to create lasting change.
‘There are many amazing people pushing for access to justice in the UK’s flawed immigration system, but the challenges they and their organisations face are huge. Justice Together funders will be partners for the long-term, pooling new resources to increase impact and work to create a fairer system.’
Justice Together’s strategy includes creating a ‘community of impact’, which centres people with lived and learned experience of the immigration system; and ensures influencing work is informed by the expertise and experiences of frontline advice agencies. A core value is to ’embed an anti-racist approach in all our work and support those we work with to do the same’.
Dami Makinde, a member of Justice Together’s grants committee and leading social justice campaigner, said:
“I hope that Justice Together will be transformational by helping to fill the gap in expert immigration advice. As someone who was undocumented for numerous years, my desire is that more people will be helped quickly and appropriately so they can begin to look towards a brighter future.”
The deadline for round one advice grants is 5pm on 17 February 2021, with awards expected to be announced in May 2021. Advice grants in the first round will be available to organisations serving communities in three areas where Justice Together believes our funding will have an immediate effect: North East of England; North West of England; and Scotland. Justice Together expects to fund two to three advice partners in each area for an initial three-year grant. Later advice grant rounds will be available in all regions throughout the four nations of the UK.
Influencing grants will also become available for both national and local work from the 8 December 2020.
Justice Together was announced in February 2020, before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has made its work more urgent and necessary.