The Solicitors’ Charity has released its annual Big Report which highlights a significant increase in the number of solicitors who have been newly supported over the past year. The report also shows a rise in clients with multiple health conditions and mental health issues.
According to the report, almost £1 million was spent on supporting solicitors and their dependents in England and Wales during the past year. The charity awarded £962,229 – with an additional £25,316 in secured loans – to help people in the solicitors’ profession who were in need or crisis.
Payments were a mix of one-off financial awards covering a range of necessities, such as household equipment, medical aids and adaptations to housing; grants and payments to partner organisations to provide services; and living allowances.
To help address the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, in Spring 2022, The Solicitors’ Charity made additional one-off payments to help all its primary clients with their domestic fuel bills. In the autumn, it increased its daily living allowance rates in line with changes to the Joseph Rowntree Minimum Income Standard, averaging a 20% increase.
The number of new clients experiencing multiple health conditions increased by 50% last year – and there were 60% more new cases where clients had mental health issues, compared to the year before.
The Solicitors’ Charity CEO Nick Gallagher, said:
“I am delighted that this year’s Big Report has shone a spotlight on the positive impact we have made in 2022 to an increased number of legal professionals needing support in times of hardship.
Our charity helped 50% more new clients to access support and advice for their pressing needs. We are proud to have awarded a total of £962,229 to those solicitors facing financial and personal difficulties, particularly during the UK’s cost-of-living economic downturn.”
One of the clients helped by The Solicitors’ Charity was London property conveyancer “Dan” (not his real name) who contacted the charity when he hit his lowest point – with no job, in debt and a family fallout which had left him homeless.
“The financial support and accommodation provided by The Solicitors’ Charity really helped me get back on my feet. The best thing now is being debt-free, having a roof over my head and a warm room. If the charity hadn’t been there for me, I don’t know what would have happened. They’ve been massively helpful and a real lifesaver.”
Download your copy of The Big Report here: thesolicitorscharity.org/big-report
Find out more about The Solicitors’ Charity by visiting thesolicitorscharity.org