The legacy of ex-FLAC volunteer John Clark

The legacy of ex-FLAC volunteer John Clark

An ex-volunteer at the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) has left his mark on Toynbee Hall with a gift in his will of £25,000. John Clark, who dedicated a quarter of a century to helping people access justice, left a forward thinking gift which will help ensure that people in future years are supported through this vital service.

John volunteered at the Free Legal Advice Centre one evening a week between 1953 and 1978, and left a gift of £1,000 for every year he spent volunteering with us. His contribution stands out amongst the countless numbers of barristers, solicitors and law students without whose time and energy the service would not be possible.

Last year, around 150 volunteers gave over 2,500 hours of their time towards running FLAC – offering advice to those in crisis on issues ranging from housing and employment to immigration. John’s invaluable contribution during his life has been matched by his legacy gift, which will help ensure that dedicated volunteers like him continue to underpin the service in years to come.

FLAC 120 - Legal Advice Heroes
Nominations for ‘Free Legal Advice Hero’ at the 120th anniversary celebration of FLAC

John made many friends at FLAC and maintained an interested in Toynbee Hall, often attending events and lectures in the decades following his involvement here. At a 120th anniversary celebration for the Free Legal Advice Centre last year, he was recognised as a ‘Free Legal Advice Hero’ for the impact he had on the service and the people it exists to support.

Our free legal advice service is needed as much now as it was 120 years ago – when it was set up as the ‘Poor Man’s Lawyer’ – and will still be needed in as many years’ time. Gifts in wills make a significant contribution to our vision for a future without poverty, giving us the flexibility to innovate and build solutions to tackling social injustice and inequality.

Lord Neuberger delivers speech at FLAC 120 event
Lord Neuberger speaking at the 120th anniversary of FLAC

John’s gift will enable us to support communities to combat poverty, debt, poor housing and social isolation – issues which are as relevant now as when he started his volunteering in the 1950s. One day, his gift could provide older people with a support network in their community, equip young people with the skills and confidence they need to thrive, or give families access to vital legal and financial advice.

If you would like to consider giving a gift like John’s, you can read more about how to make a gift for a future without poverty here.

If you would like to learn more about volunteering at the Free Legal Advice Centre, read about becoming a pro-bono legal adviser here.

Featured image caption: Advice being given at Toynbee Hall’s Free Legal Advice Centre in the 1980s

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