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SLAB invites welfare advice funding applications

13 May 2013

The Scottish Legal Aid Board has opened the application process for one stream of its funding programme to support advice services for people facing debt and other problems stemming from benefits changes and the economic situation, with the other two set to follow this week.

With a total of £7.45m funding from the Scottish Government and the independent Money Advice Service, the Making Advice Work (MAW) programme will prioritise the welfare advice needs of selected groups in order to avoid duplication with other funded projects supported by BIG Lottery Fund Scotland.

Stream 3 of the SLAB programme, which is now open, targets the needs of people with disabilities and people experiencing domestic abuse, though SLAB says that evidence-backed applications relating to specific advice needs of other groups will be considered.

The other two streams, now also open to applications (as of 14 May), will provide advice and representation to help people facing financial and other difficulties arising from welfare reforms; and support projects led by social landlords that provide similar assistance to tenants.

The deadline for stream 3 applications is Sunday 16 June, and for streams 1 and 2 Sunday 23 June. The Board has up to £1m available under stream 3, from which it can make awards of between £20,000 and £150,000, for national or local projects. Stream 1 projects can attract funding of up to £200,000 from a budget of £4m, and stream 2 (applications for which must be led by social landlords) of up to £150,000 from a budget of £2.5m.

Under the Board’s guidelines, applications for stream 3 can be from national or local not-for-profit organisations. Partnership applications are welcome and encouraged. Solicitors, local authorities and generalist advice agencies can apply as part of a partnership bid with organisations experienced in working with the specific groups identified as facing barriers to accessing advice and resolving problems.

For stream 1, the Board aims to include organisations from the third sector, local authorities, housing associations and where appropriate solicitors, for example, law centres.

Successful projects will run to March 2015.

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