Preparing for a better future with the Big Report
As we emerge from the pandemic, with the knock-on economic and personal effects still very much in evidence, The Solicitors’ Charity has been pleased to publish its Support for Solicitors: Big Report for 2021.
Some fascinating trends and statistics emerged from the report’s overview of the support we provided for solicitors in England and Wales during times of need or hardship last year.
A total £1,024,218 was awarded by The Solicitors’ Charity in support of clients last year and the Big Report reveals where this money went and who it helped.
It shows that the charity’s support has become more tailored to the individual client, with 34% being spent on one-off awards, alongside the daily living allowances that we provide and the support from our partners that we fund. These focussed awards can make a huge difference to our clients’ lives. Among the one-off help, we have purchased such things as specialised wheelchairs, physio equipment, domestic boilers and other household essentials.
We work closely with expert partner organisations to make sure solicitors get the support that they need. In 2021, the funding we provided to LawCare https://www.lawcare.org.uk/ helped them support 342 solicitors with their mental health and wellbeing. Another 17 solicitors in need of career counselling were referred to Renovo https://renovo.uk.com/ and 43 clients were given financial and debt advice.
More people under the age of 60 (7 in 10 of new applicants) were supported by The Solicitors’ Charity in 2021 compared to 2020, and last year also saw the majority of new clients (54%) identify as Asian, black or from another minority ethnic group. I believe this is a result of our efforts to reach ever more diverse audiences.
The Big Report’s findings show that for the first time in five years, more men asked for support than women – 54% of the new clients we helped in 2021 were male. This is encouraging in a year when we will be supporting partners as they encourage more men in the profession to speak up about their mental health.
Alongside the awards we make, our experienced and skilled casework team are there to listen and support clients, signposting them to other sources of help where that is necessary.
I take heart that The Solicitors’ Charity has provided help for solicitors in need of support through difficult times. We have learnt a great deal in the last few years and will reflect on what that means for how we do more for more people as we carry out a strategic review in 2022.
Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the extraordinary support we receive from law firms who share their unclaimed client balances with us. If your firm could also donate unclaimed balances please click here for more information.
And remember, we are just a call away should you, or any of your colleagues, need us. If you need financial, emotional or practical support, just call 020 8772 1733.