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BME law centre expands its reach

This news post is about 10 years old

Specialist legal service to expand support through advice services across Scotland thanks to new funding boost

A service providing legal advice to people from ethnic minority communities is to expand its work across communities in Scotland.

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC) will use a £562,985 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to develop partnerships with local advice agencies to ensure black and minority ethnic (BME) people get access to complex legal advice.

The grant will also be used to provide a programme of training, as well as a telephone advice service for local advice agencies and Citizen Advice Bureaux to assist their understanding of specific areas of law.

Jonathan Squire MBE, convener of the EMLC board of directors, said: “This award is a reflection of the commitment of the Big Lottery Fund towards the black and minority ethnic communities in Scotland. We are delighted that the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre has been given the opportunity to continue this important work.”

The Ethnic Minorities Law Centre was previously funding by the Big Lottery Fund to develop a sustainable infrastructure of advice and legal representation services for people from BME communities across Scotland.

The project was based on research that indicated there was need for specialist legal advice, including culturally sensitive services, to meet the needs of BME clients.

During the lifetime of that project the organisation delivered training sessions covering employment, discrimination, cultural awareness, immigration and asylum over 126 frontline advice agencies.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn explains more: “The Ethnic Minorities Law Centre is a highly respected organisation which has great expertise in the legal issues affecting Scotland’s black and ethnic minority communities. It offers a one-of-a-kind service and, through a previous Big Lottery Fund project, was able to introduce a more effective way of providing high quality and culturally sensitive legal advice to thousands of people across Scotland.