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BIG LOTTERY TO FUND THREE YEAR PROJECT SUPPORTING BEREAVED FAMILIES FACING INQUESTS
14 January 2014
The Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund has agreed project funding of £500,000 over three years to support INQUEST’s specialist casework service and develop its work with bereaved families.
The funding will ensure INQUEST is able to continue its work assisting families bereaved by a death in state detention. This includes deaths in prison, in police custody and mental health settings. The funding will support INQUEST’s specialist casework assisting families through the inquest process and providing professional assistance to legal practitioners.
It will also fund a series of training initiatives, both for bereaved families to help them navigate the complex inquest process, and for professionals who work with them. Families will be assisted to improve their skills to better tackle the challenges they face, and be less isolated. Professionals working with them will gain a greater understanding of the needs of people bereaved by a death in custody and improve their engagement with them.
INQUEST recently undertook an evaluation of the impact of its services to families and found that the state of mind of 88% of families it worked during the aftermath of a bereavement was positively helped, with no family reporting a negative impact.
“We are delighted that the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund has agreed to support this vital work that is a lifeline for so many bereaved families. Providing funding for our project is a vote of confidence in our team and a positive endorsement that will enable us to continue our specialist work with families bereaved by a death in state detention.
‘My congratulations to all involved in this 30 year battle for disclosure [of the Cass report on the death of Blair Peach] … it was this awful state of affairs which led those of us who founded INQUEST to set it up. But it is mind-boggling to think that we were still arguing over this report 30 years later.’
– Terry Munyard, barrister at Garden Court Chambers and founding member of INQUEST