Help us to challenge unlawful discrimination Our small, specialist project, which gives free legal help to victims of unlawful discrimination in East Anglia is currently unfunded. Help to bridge the gap whilst we wait for a forthcoming funding decision
The Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) is fundraising to run their 'Tackling Discrimination in the East' (TDE) project which helps people who are the victim of all kinds of unlawful discrimination; with disability, race and pregnancy the most common types of discrimination.
Tackling Discrimination in the East
Our clients are, on the whole, the working poor, who could not afford private lawyers but are not eligible for legal aid. Compensation is often small in value, so most do not interest the “no win no fee” lawyers. They are security guards, nursery nurses, food factory agency staff, care homes staff, drivers, cleaners. The gender mix is about 50:50. Nearly half have a disability, many due to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. About half are White British; the other half are from minority ethnic communities, whether long established here or new migrants from Poland, Portugal and the Baltic States. Many report the stress of the discrimination has caused them depression and anxiety, requiring medical treatment.
The People we help
These were people like Frank* who worked as a packer in a factory. Diagnosed with severe depression in 2011, his GP recommended a regular day shift but employers did not give him that. Rather they dismissed him. We helped Frank commence proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. We negotiated a settlement before the case came to Tribunal with compensation and agreed the wording of a reference letter to assist with his search for new employment. At the end of his case, Frank reported that he was feeling more confident and positive, and that his emotional well-being had improved.
Listen to Andy* explain how ISCRE helped him with his discrimination case:
Our supporters at the launch of TDE in 2013
Or Lydia*, a Russian speaking migrant worker, working as a sorter in a factory, employed through an agency since 2009. Once the factory manager discovered that she was pregnant, she was not offered any further work. Employment Tribunal proceedings were started by us against both the agency and the factory. Negotiations took place and a settlement was reached involving compensation and a guarantee of further work.
Or Steve and Michele*, a mixed race couple whose lives were blighted with racial harassment from the neighbours and let down by the police. We helped them make a successful police complaint and, as this was the only option, to get the Council to rehouse them.
*Names changed to preserve anonymity
Overall, since 2013 we have advised 680 clients, helping them win £237,930.58 in compensation. We also help to get agreed references to help people get further work. We even got 6 clients reinstated and 5 cases where we agreed reasonable adjustments to allow for continuing in employment.
We also helped to get changes to premises open to the public (such as a concert hall, gates to a public park, a shop and a financial services centre)
The feedback from clients about our service, has been very positive, with them reporting being treated with support and understanding; and the outcomes had been both personal (such as ability to get back into work) or wider (changes in employers policies or reasonable adjustments which benefit everyone). This showed the casework element has worked well and is greatly appreciated.
How Much We Are Fundraising and What it is For
For the last three years, we have been financially supported by the Big Lottery Fund. This current funding finished at the end of March.
We have put in an application for another three years’ worth of funding. We are through to the second stage. But even if we are successful with this bid, there will be a gap of about four months or so between the current programme stopping and the next one beginning. It costs about £200 per day to run the TDE project. We need to raise at least £2000 to help to us bridge some of the gap so it does not put too much pressure on our reserves.
About the claimant
ISCRE is a small but prominent anti-discrimination human rights organisation in East Anglia. We have spent the last, nearly 40 years, focussed on challenging discrimination and helping to bring communities together. We undertake community projects in criminal justice, prisons, health and education, which run alongside our Law Advice Centre where 70 local lawyers provide free legal advice for anyone in Suffolk.
Help us to continue giving free legal help to victims of unlawful discrimination in East Anglia. We are currently unfunded, waiting for a decision from the National Lottery. Help us to continue our work, without further depleting our reserves. Registered Charity Number: 1055386
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