• December 7, 2023
 Leeds Beckett University partners with Support Through Court to offer hope to those facing court alone

Leeds Beckett University partners with Support Through Court to offer hope to those facing court alone

Ten years since the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), an exciting new partnership offers hope to those facing court alone.

Leeds Beckett University’s Leeds Law School has partnered with Support Through Court, a charity that provides free legal assistance and information to people who cannot access legal aid or afford a lawyer.

Pre-2013, the civil legal aid system provided vital legal advice for people facing employment, housing, debt, and family law problems but LASPO removed whole areas of law from the scope of public funding, leaving more people than ever having to face court alone.

The partnership will enable Support Through Court to continue its life-changing work in Leeds and West Yorkshire. Students and academics from Leeds Law School will be essential to the charity’s activity.

Now more than ever, the Leeds community needs this support, as the cost of living crisis throws more people into desperate situations.

Students from Leeds Beckett gain practical work experience through the partnership, allowing them to provide legal support to those going through the civil and family court system. Those facing court alone can access support by phone, face-to-face, and at court hearings.

On Wednesday 19 April, we came together to celebrate the partnerships with the Leeds legal community, HMCTS, senior judiciary, third sector agencies, and The Lord Mayor of Leeds. We will hear first-hand from volunteers and the judiciary, about the importance of this partnership, to the people of Leeds, who cannot access the help of a lawyer for life-changing issues, which risk devastating outcomes such as loss of access to children and homelessness.

Professor Deveral Capps, Dean of Leeds Law School, said:

“I am delighted that Leeds Beckett University can assist in the very important work Support Through Court does. Over the course of the next five years, Leeds Law School will provide student volunteers, telephone facilities, and face-to-face meeting spaces to help members of the public get free information and legal help. It is a testament to the reputation of Leeds Law School that Support Through Court chose to work with us.”

Emma Taylor, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Support Through Court, said:

“Cuts to our services and the rising cost of living mean that our support is needed more than ever before. This is an exciting partnership that is enabling us to provide practical and emotional support to more people going through court alone.”

Support Through Court

Every year, thousands of people in the UK face court alone. Often through no choice of their own, they must represent themselves at a moment that could determine the rest of their life. They may face divorce, eviction from their home, or the loss of their children. In an unfamiliar courtroom, up against a party with legal representation, the process can be stressful and confusing.

Support Through Court stand with those who have nowhere else to turn. They provide a free service across England and Wales, offering support and guidance to people before, during, and after court. The charity makes sure people facing court are not alone, and helps them navigate a complex legal system with dignity and self-assurance. Their volunteers help clients put their papers in order and prepare well, so they are clear about what they need to say in court and so that they can best represent themselves. Volunteers also go with clients to hearings and debrief with them afterwards.

An award-winning charity with over 500 dedicated volunteers, they operate from 16 courts and universities across England and Wales, as well as running a National Helpline. Despite the growing need for their work, Support Through Court remain the only organisation providing this service.

Key services

National Helpline
Services (based in courts and universities)

Key links


Key contact

Esther Elshen
0300 400 0143
For our services, Fundraising and press numbers please see: Support Through Court

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