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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.
‘At the time of the tragedy, I had no idea of what to do or who to turn to. By luck, I found yourselves and contacted you, the rest as we say is history. On behalf of [my brother's] family, friends and myself I would just like to thank you so much for your professional support and advice during that difficult period and without that help, I do not think we would be where we are today.’
– Brother of a man who died in police custody