Business Charity Awards: Best response to the cost-of-living crisis – Hogan Lovells International LLP, BNY Mellon and the Westway Trust

What was the partnership?

With the challenge of rising inflationary food and gas prices, the Cost of Living Crisis Clinic was established in March 2022 to help residents in deprived areas of inner-city London.

Community charity partner Westway Trust connected with lawyers from Hogan Lovells LLP and BNY Mellon’s legal banking team to support clients in crisis due to income deprivation, unsanitary housing/homelessness, financial insecurity, and digital exclusion/poor literacy.

What did it do?

The initiative has helped change the landscape for the communities served by providing a one-stop shop, end-to-end advice in the areas of housing, benefits, grant applications and utilities.

It is co-delivered and co-produced by those with lived experience. The Clinic empowers vulnerable families with social capital and helps those who are digitally excluded to apply for in-work/disability benefits and grants.

It helps improve the living conditions of low-income tenants by holding rogue landlords accountable and assisting those who become homeless into temporary accommodation.

What were the results?

Drawing together various strands in delivery of the biweekly, solicitor-led service circumnavigates the advice merry-go-round, where clients are forced to seek solutions from numerous organisations. This allows surrounding organisations to concentrate on other specialist advice and casework, which plays to their strengths.

In 2023, 80 volunteers from the firms provided more than 780 volunteer hours, assisting 414 clients to apply for approximately £1,313,312 of potentially unclaimed benefits and grants.

What did the judges say?

“The partnership is ongoing which is necessary and the adaptation to co-create the future plan with ex-service users is smart and will bear fruit.”


This article was first published by ThirdSector

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