So far walkers have raised over £26,000 to support desperately needed free legal advice services.
Walk the Thames is a half or full marathon, following the Thames through the city of London and out to the Surrey countryside. It took place last Saturday, as some people ran it and a few cycled it. People from across the country walked together to support legal advice centres in England or Wales. High Court Judge Sir Charles Haddon-Cave led the runners and Sir Peter Gross Lord Justice of Appeal led the walkers.
The people that the advice centres help include families facing homelessness, elderly people requiring community care, trafficked women and children, disabled people, refugees, people who are facing unemployment and those with mental health problems.
These vulnerable people have suffered most during the recession.
Meanwhile, cuts in civil legal aid and council grants have made access to free legal advice much scarcer. Legal Aid firms in the high street have diminished rapidly, some advice centres have closed and most others have had to severely reduce casework staff.
Lawyers from all parts of the profession recognise the need for legal help for the vulnerable and came together to raise funds. The most senior judges walked side by side with law students; corporate lawyers and QCs with high street solicitors and caseworkers working in front-line advice centres.
Organisers expect the walk will raise at least £30,000 in total.
Vicky Ling, Chief Executive of the Trust says: “Free legal advice services change people’s lives, providing them with expert help in their hour of need. LLST work with the charities we fund to ensure every pound raised goes as far as it can to help the most vulnerable.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Walk the Thames thus far, and please do continue to sponsor your friends, colleagues, family members and clients to help us break the fundraising record!”
The walk started at 8.30am at Norton Rose Fulbright’s offices (More London Riverside behind City Hall) and the first half marathon finished in Putney. The second half of the marathon began in Putney at 12:30pm. The full marathon and second half marathon finished in Hampton Court.
(Source: London Legal Support Trust)