A support service for litigants in person has written to law firms appealing for cash so it can return to court safely.
Due to the pandemic, Support Through Court, previously known as the Personal Support Unit, had to stop offering face-to-face support, but has been running a national helpline since March with over 100 volunteers.
Anticipating a spike in employment and housing-related cases over the next weeks as a result of the furlough scheme winding down and possession proceedings resuming, the charity has now decided to return to court. However, to deliver face-to-face services safely, it must implement costly new processes and procedures, and has set up a Covid-19 appeal to raise funds.
In a letter sent to law firms this week, chair Peter Crisp said: ‘I am determined that we must continue to be there for people alone in court over the weeks and months to come, when they will need us more than ever before. However, in order for us to re-open our court-based service offices in a safe environment, we are having to implement new processes and procedures. Inevitably, these new interventions will place a considerable strain on our resources which is why I am writing to you.
‘I hope you are in a position to help ensure this is the case by giving a donation today. A donation of any amount will help us re open our doors to people facing court alone.’
The letter states that £10,000 will enable a Support Through Court centre to reopen ‘in the heart of the courts’. £5,000 will fund technology and training to deliver remote and socially distanced support. £1,000 will fund personal protective equipment such as screens, gloves, masks and hand sanitiser.