DLC Annual Report 2020-21Our Story
The Law Centre was set up in March 1989 and was initially financially supported by Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council. At the beginning there were four workers, and now have grown to over 30. Over the last 32 years the Law Centre has evolved and changed but our ethos and commitment to our local communities remain the same. We have grown considerably and are really proud that, from our base in Chesterfield, we are now ableto offer advice and assistance across the county of Derbyshire.
(More about the history of Derbyshire Law Centre® can be found in our historical timeline: Changing Times for Derbyshire Law Centre®.)
We continue to be very grateful to Derbyshire County Council who initiated the development of Derbyshire Law Centre, previously known as Chesterfield Law Centre® to be established and now, along with the support from Chesterfield Borough Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and Bolsover District Council, we continue from strength to strength.
In April 2014 we re-branded to Derbyshire Law Centre® to better reflect the services we provide across the county and moved to share premises with 3 other advice agencies.
Our Mission and Values
Our aims and principles are aligned to our membership of the Law Centre’s Network.
Our mission as a peer led organisation is to increase access to justice for disadvantaged individuals and communities through the provision of quality assured, accessible free and low cost legal advice, information and representation to individuals and groups across our geographical area.
Our Core Values
These are the values and principles that guide us:
To treat everyone with integrity and respect. To value and respect each other’s expertise and diversity. To take responsibility for what we do and support each other to succeed.
To respond to changing needs. To be innovative and resourceful.
To collaborate internally and externally. To listen and share. To work as a team using all of our expertise and skills together to get the best outcomes.
To show that we care. To promote personal wellbeing for everyone – our staff, volunteers and clients. To adopt safe and healthy working practices.
Quality and Regulation
Since the early 1990s we have had a Legal Aid contract. Under this contract, our work is regularly audited by the Legal Aid Agency (formerly known as Legal Aid Board and Legal Services Commission). This means our service has to be of a high standard as without passing the audit we cannot continue to do legal aid work.
The Law Centre holds the Lexcel Legal Practice Quality Mark for all our specialist work, office management and governance. Derbyshire Law Centre® is affiliated to the national organisation for Law Centres, the Law Centres Network.
The solicitors employed at the Law Centre are regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority and Legal Executives by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
Our achievements would not have been possible without the support from statutory, voluntary and community organisations and individuals.
Funding and Income
The Law Centre receives financial assistance from a wide variety of funders including grant aid from Bolsover District Council, Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council and North East Derbyshire District Council, project funding from the European Structural and Investment Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund, charitable sources, local and national contracts and other fundraising activities.
Our latest audited accounts can be found here: DLC Accounts 20-21