The forthcoming closure of a social welfare firm killed off by the government's legal aid cuts has thrown the future of a charity that helps children with disabilities and special needs into jeopardy.
Swansea-based TA Law, which has helped 90,000 vulnerable people over the past decade, will close in June. The firm had been providing office space, stationery, IT and welfare benefits supervision to Kin Cymru, a Welsh charity that helps families with disability living allowance (DLA) claims, and mandatory reconsiderations and appeals.
The charity has a 100% success rate for DLA appeals. It is now trying to raise £7,500 to rent premises and cover day-to-day volunteer expenses when it will have to stand on its own two feet from June.
TA Law's managing director, Helen Williams, whose son is autistic and has special educational needs, said the money will keep the charity going for 12 months while it looks into creating a paid service to survive longer term.
Housing specialist Lisa Reese, a director at TA Law, said she could not envisage the charity lasting long if volunteers have to work from home.
Kin Cymru was set up in 2012 to work on speech and language therapy, and literacy projects. However, when the government cut vast swaths of civil law from the scope of legal aid in 2013, the charity shifted its focus.
One family turned to the charity for support when the son's disability living allowance renewal was due. The family discussed its problems and concerns with Kin Cymru, which then helped to complete the necessary paperwork to send to the Department for Work and Pensions.
The boy's mother said: 'A few weeks later we received our reply. We couldn't have been any happier. Not only the length of term had been extended from the usual two yearly to six, but the mobility element had been awarded at the highest rate. This is something very difficult to achieve with a child with ASD, as on previous occasions we had been flat out refused, then on appeal only given a low rate.
'Without the help we received with the vital service [Kin Cymru] provides, we believe that the outcome once again wouldn't have been so good. This service needs extending so other parents get the help they rightfully deserve.'